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ANIMAL FARM 

»- i 

George Orwell 




First published in 1944. 

This web edition published by eBooks@Adelaide 


Last updated Wednesday, December 17, 2014 at 14:20. 

To the best of our knowledge, the text of this 
work is in the "Public Domain" in Australia. 

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eBooks@Adelaide 
The University of Adelaide Library 
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https://ebooks.adelaide.edu.aU/o/orweN/george/o79a/index.html 
Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:58 



Animal Farm, by George Orwell 


Table of Contents 

Chapter l 
Chapter 2 
Chapter 3 
Chapter 4 
Chapter 5 
Chapter 6 
Chapter 7 
Chapter 8 
Chapter 9 
Chapter 10 



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Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:58 




Animal Farm, by George Orwell 




Chapter l 


M r. Jones, of the Manor Farm, had locked the hen-houses for 
the night, but was too drunk to remember to shut the pop- 
holes. With the ring of light from his lantern dancing from 
side to side, he lurched across the yard, kicked off his boots at the back 
door, drew himself a last glass of beer from the barrel in the scullery, 
and made his way up to bed, where Mrs. Jones was already snoring. 

As soon as the light in the bedroom went out there was a stirring 
and a fluttering all through the farm buildings. Word had gone round 
during the day that old Major, the prize Middle White boar, had had a 
strange dream on the previous night and wished to communicate it to 
the other animals. It had been agreed that they should all meet in the 
big barn as soon as Mr. Jones was safely out of the way. Old Major (so 
he was always called, though the name under which he had been 
exhibited was Willingdon Beauty) was so highly regarded on the farm 
that everyone was quite ready to lose an hour’s sleep in order to hear 
what he had to say. 

At one end of the big barn, on a sort of raised platform, Major was 
already ensconced on his bed of straw, under a lantern which hung 
from a beam. He was twelve years old and had lately grown rather 
stout, but he was still a majestic-looking pig, with a wise and 
benevolent appearance in spite of the fact that his tushes had never 
been cut. Before long the other animals began to arrive and make 
themselves comfortable after their different fashions. First came the 
three dogs, Bluebell, Jessie, and Pincher, and then the pigs, who 
settled down in the straw immediately in front of the platform. The 
hens perched themselves on the window-sills, the pigeons fluttered up 
to the rafters, the sheep and cows lay down behind the pigs and began 
to chew the cud. The two cart-horses, Boxer and Clover, came in 



together, walking very slowly and setting down their vast hairy hoofs 
with great care lest there should be some small animal concealed in the 
straw. Clover was a stout motherly mare approaching middle life, who 
had never quite got her figure back after her fourth foal. Boxer was an 
enormous beast, nearly eighteen hands high, and as strong as any two 
ordinary horses put together. A white stripe down his nose gave him a 
somewhat stupid appearance, and in fact he was not of first-rate 
intelligence, but he was universally respected for his steadiness of 
character and tremendous powers of work. After the horses came 
Muriel, the white goat, and Benjamin, the donkey. Benjamin was the 
oldest animal on the farm, and the worst tempered. He seldom talked, 
and when he did, it was usually to make some cynical remark — for 
instance, he would say that God had given him a tail to keep the flies 
off, but that he would sooner have had no tail and no flies. Alone 
among the animals on the farm he never laughed. If asked why, he 
would say that he saw nothing to laugh at. Nevertheless, without 
openly admitting it, he was devoted to Boxer; the two of them usually 
spent their Sundays together in the small paddock beyond the orchard, 
grazing side by side and never speaking. 

The two horses had just lain down when a brood of ducklings, 
which had lost their mother, filed into the barn, cheeping feebly and 
wandering from side to side to find some place where they would not 
be trodden on. Clover made a sort of wall round them with her great 
foreleg, and the ducklings nestled down inside it and promptly fell 
asleep. At the last moment Mollie, the foolish, pretty white mare who 
drew Mr. Jones’s trap, came mincing daintily in, chewing at a lump of 
sugar. She took a place near the front and began flirting her white 
mane, hoping to draw attention to the red ribbons it was plaited with. 
Last of all came the cat, who looked round, as usual, for the warmest 
place, and finally squeezed herself in between Boxer and Clover; there 
she purred contentedly throughout Major’s speech without listening to 
a word of what he was saying. 



All the animals were now present except Moses, the tame raven, 
who slept on a perch behind the back door. When Major saw that they 
had all made themselves comfortable and were waiting attentively, he 
cleared his throat and began: 

“Comrades, you have heard already about the strange dream that I 
had last night. But I will come to the dream later. I have something else 
to say first. I do not think, comrades, that I shall be with you for many 
months longer, and before I die, I feel it my duty to pass on to you such 
wisdom as I have acquired. I have had a long life, I have had much 
time for thought as I lay alone in my stall, and I think I may say that I 
understand the nature of life on this earth as well as any animal now 
living. It is about this that I wish to speak to you. 

“Now, comrades, what is the nature of this life of ours? Let us face 
it: our lives are miserable, laborious, and short. We are born, we are 
given just so much food as will keep the breath in our bodies, and those 
of us who are capable of it are forced to work to the last atom of our 
strength; and the very instant that our usefulness has come to an end 
we are slaughtered with hideous cruelty. No animal in England knows 
the meaning of happiness or leisure after he is a year old. No animal in 
England is free. The life of an animal is misery and slavery: that is the 
plain truth. 

“But is this simply part of the order of nature? Is it because this 
land of ours is so poor that it cannot afford a decent life to those who 
dwell upon it? No, comrades, a thousand times no! The soil of England 
is fertile, its climate is good, it is capable of affording food in 
abundance to an enormously greater number of animals than now 
inhabit it. This single farm of ours would support a dozen horses, 
twenty cows, hundreds of sheep — and all of them living in a comfort 
and a dignity that are now almost beyond our imagining. Why then do 
we continue in this miserable condition? Because nearly the whole of 
the produce of our labour is stolen from us by human beings. There, 



comrades, is the answer to all our problems. It is summed up in a 
single word — Man. Man is the only real enemy we have. Remove Man 
from the scene, and the root cause of hunger and overwork is abolished 
for ever. 

“Man is the only creature that consumes without producing. He 
does not give milk, he does not lay eggs, he is too weak to pull the 
plough, he cannot run fast enough to catch rabbits. Yet he is lord of all 
the animals. He sets them to work, he gives back to them the bare 
minimum that will prevent them from starving, and the rest he keeps 
for himself. Our labour tills the soil, our dung fertilises it, and yet there 
is not one of us that owns more than his bare skin. You cows that I see 
before me, how many thousands of gallons of milk have you given 
during this last year? And what has happened to that milk which 
should have been breeding up sturdy calves? Every drop of it has gone 
down the throats of our enemies. And you hens, how many eggs have 
you laid in this last year, and how many of those eggs ever hatched into 
chickens? The rest have all gone to market to bring in money for Jones 
and his men. And you, Clover, where are those four foals you bore, who 
should have been the support and pleasure of your old age? Each was 
sold at a year old — you will never see one of them again. In return for 
your four confinements and all your labour in the fields, what have you 
ever had except your bare rations and a stall? 

“And even the miserable lives we lead are not allowed to reach 
their natural span. For myself I do not grumble, for I am one of the 
lucky ones. I am twelve years old and have had over four hundred 
children. Such is the natural life of a pig. But no animal escapes the 
cruel knife in the end. You young porkers who are sitting in front of 
me, every one of you will scream your lives out at the block within a 
year. To that horror we all must come — cows, pigs, hens, sheep, 
everyone. Even the horses and the dogs have no better fate. You, 
Boxer, the very day that those great muscles of yours lose their power, 



Jones will sell you to the knacker, who will cut your throat and boil you 
down for the foxhounds. As for the dogs, when they grow old and 
toothless, Jones ties a brick round their necks and drowns them in the 
nearest pond. 

“Is it not crystal clear, then, comrades, that all the evils of this life 
of ours spring from the tyranny of human beings? Only get rid of Man, 
and the produce of our labour would be our own. Almost overnight we 
could become rich and free. What then must we do? Why, work night 
and day, body and soul, for the overthrow of the human race! That is 
my message to you, comrades: Rebellion! I do not know when that 
Rebellion will come, it might be in a week or in a hundred years, but I 
know, as surely as I see this straw beneath my feet, that sooner or later 
justice will be done. Fix your eyes on that, comrades, throughout the 
short remainder of your lives! And above all, pass on this message of 
mine to those who come after you, so that future generations shall 
carry on the struggle until it is victorious. 

“And remember, comrades, your resolution must never falter. No 
argument must lead you astray. Never listen when they tell you that 
Man and the animals have a common interest, that the prosperity of 
the one is the prosperity of the others. It is all lies. Man serves the 
interests of no creature except himself. And among us animals let there 
be perfect unity, perfect comradeship in the struggle. All men are 
enemies. All animals are comrades.” 

At this moment there was a tremendous uproar. While Major was 
speaking four large rats had crept out of their holes and were sitting on 
their hindquarters, listening to him. The dogs had suddenly caught 
sight of them, and it was only by a swift dash for their holes that the 
rats saved their lives. Major raised his trotter for silence. 

“Comrades,” he said, “here is a point that must be settled. The 
wild creatures, such as rats and rabbits — are they our friends or our 
enemies? Let us put it to the vote. I propose this question to the 



meeting: Are rats comrades?” 

The vote was taken at once, and it was agreed by an overwhelming 
majority that rats were comrades. There were only four dissentients, 
the three dogs and the cat, who was afterwards discovered to have 
voted on both sides. Major continued: 

“I have little more to say. I merely repeat, remember always your 
duty of enmity towards Man and all his ways. Whatever goes upon two 
legs is an enemy. Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a 
friend. And remember also that in fighting against Man, we must not 
come to resemble him. Even when you have conquered him, do not 
adopt his vices. No animal must ever live in a house, or sleep in a bed, 
or wear clothes, or drink alcohol, or smoke tobacco, or touch money, or 
engage in trade. All the habits of Man are evil. And, above all, no 
animal must ever tyrannise over his own kind. Weak or strong, clever 
or simple, we are all brothers. No animal must ever kill any other 
animal. All animals are equal. 

“And now, comrades, I will tell you about my dream of last night. I 
cannot describe that dream to you. It was a dream of the earth as it will 
be when Man has vanished. But it reminded me of something that I 
had long forgotten. Many years ago, when I was a little pig, my mother 
and the other sows used to sing an old song of which they knew only 
the tune and the first three words. I had known that tune in my 
infancy, but it had long since passed out of my mind. Last night, 
however, it came back to me in my dream. And what is more, the 
words of the song also came back-words, I am certain, which were 
sung by the animals of long ago and have been lost to memory for 
generations. I will sing you that song now, comrades. I am old and my 
voice is hoarse, but when I have taught you the tune, you can sing it 
better for yourselves. It is called ‘Beasts of England’.” 

Old Major cleared his throat and began to sing. As he had said, his 
voice was hoarse, but he sang well enough, and it was a stirring tune, 



something between ‘Clementine’ and ‘La Cucaracha’. The words ran 
Beasts of England, beasts of Ireland, 

Beasts of every land and clime, 

Hearken to my joyful tidings 
Of the golden future time. 

Soon or late the day is coming, 

Tyrant Man shall be o’erthrown, 

And the fruitful fields of England 
Shall be trod by beasts alone. 

Rings shall vanish from our noses, 

And the harness from our back, 

Bit and spur shall rust forever, 

Cruel whips no more shall crack. 

Riches more than mind can picture, 

Wheat and barley, oats and hay, 

Clover, beans, and mangel-wurzels 
Shall be ours upon that day. 

Bright will shine the fields of England, 

Purer shall its waters be, 

Sweeter yet shall blow its breezes 
On the day that sets us free. 

For that day we all must labour, 

Though we die before it break; 

Cows and horses, geese and turkeys, 



All must toil for freedom’s sake. 

Beasts of England, beasts of Ireland, 

Beasts of every land and clime, 

Hearken well and spread my tidings 
Of the golden future time. 

The singing of this song threw the animals into the wildest excitement. 
Almost before Major had reached the end, they had begun singing it 
for themselves. Even the stupidest of them had already picked up the 
tune and a few of the words, and as for the clever ones, such as the pigs 
and dogs, they had the entire song by heart within a few minutes. And 
then, after a few preliminary tries, the whole farm burst out into 
‘Beasts of England’ in tremendous unison. The cows lowed it, the dogs 
whined it, the sheep bleated it, the horses whinnied it, the ducks 
quacked it. They were so delighted with the song that they sang it right 
through five times in succession, and might have continued singing it 
all night if they had not been interrupted. 

Unfortunately, the uproar awoke Mr. Jones, who sprang out of 
bed, making sure that there was a fox in the yard. He seized the gun 
which always stood in a corner of his bedroom, and let fly a charge of 
number 6 shot into the darkness. The pellets buried themselves in the 
wall of the barn and the meeting broke up hurriedly. Everyone fled to 
his own sleeping-place. The birds jumped on to their perches, the 
animals settled down in the straw, and the whole farm was asleep in a 
moment. 



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Animal Farm, by George Orwell 




Chapter 2 


T hree nights later old Major died peacefully in his sleep. His 
body was buried at the foot of the orchard. 

This was early in March. During the next three months 
there was much secret activity. Major’s speech had given to the more 
intelligent animals on the farm a completely new outlook on life. They 
did not know when the Rebellion predicted by Major would take place, 
they had no reason for thinking that it would be within their own 
lifetime, but they saw clearly that it was their duty to prepare for it. 
The work of teaching and organising the others fell naturally upon the 
pigs, who were generally recognised as being the cleverest of the 
animals. Pre-eminent among the pigs were two young boars named 
Snowball and Napoleon, whom Mr. Jones was breeding up for sale. 
Napoleon was a large, rather fierce-looking Berkshire boar, the only 
Berkshire on the farm, not much of a talker, but with a reputation for 
getting his own way. Snowball was a more vivacious pig than 
Napoleon, quicker in speech and more inventive, but was not 
considered to have the same depth of character. All the other male pigs 
on the farm were porkers. The best known among them was a small fat 
pig named Squealer, with very round cheeks, twinkling eyes, nimble 
movements, and a shrill voice. He was a brilliant talker, and when he 
was arguing some difficult point he had a way of skipping from side to 
side and whisking his tail which was somehow very persuasive. The 
others said of Squealer that he could turn black into white. 

These three had elaborated old Major’s teachings into a complete 
system of thought, to which they gave the name of Animalism. Several 
nights a week, after Mr. Jones was asleep, they held secret meetings in 
the barn and expounded the principles of Animalism to the others. At 
the beginning they met with much stupidity and apathy. Some of the 



animals talked of the duty of loyalty to Mr. Jones, whom they referred 
to as “Master,” or made elementary remarks such as “Mr. Jones feeds 
us. If he were gone, we should starve to death.” Others asked such 
questions as “Why should we care what happens after we are dead?” or 
“If this Rebellion is to happen anyway, what difference does it make 
whether we work for it or not?”, and the pigs had great difficulty in 
making them see that this was contrary to the spirit of Animalism. The 
stupidest questions of all were asked by Mollie, the white mare. The 
very first question she asked Snowball was: “Will there still be sugar 
after the Rebellion?” 

“No,” said Snowball firmly. “We have no means of making sugar 
on this farm. Besides, you do not need sugar. You will have all the oats 
and hay you want.” 

“And shall I still be allowed to wear ribbons in my mane?” asked 
Mollie. 

“Comrade,” said Snowball, “those ribbons that you are so devoted 
to are the badge of slavery. Can you not understand that liberty is 
worth more than ribbons?” 

Mollie agreed, but she did not sound very convinced. 

The pigs had an even harder struggle to counteract the lies put 
about by Moses, the tame raven. Moses, who was Mr. Jones’s especial 
pet, was a spy and a tale-bearer, but he was also a clever talker. He 
claimed to know of the existence of a mysterious country called 
Sugarcandy Mountain, to which all animals went when they died. It 
was situated somewhere up in the sky, a little distance beyond the 
clouds, Moses said. In Sugarcandy Mountain it was Sunday seven days 
a week, clover was in season all the year round, and lump sugar and 
linseed cake grew on the hedges. The animals hated Moses because he 
told tales and did no work, but some of them believed in Sugarcandy 
Mountain, and the pigs had to argue very hard to persuade them that 



there was no such place. 

Their most faithful disciples were the two cart-horses, Boxer and 
Clover. These two had great difficulty in thinking anything out for 
themselves, but having once accepted the pigs as their teachers, they 
absorbed everything that they were told, and passed it on to the other 
animals by simple arguments. They were unfailing in their attendance 
at the secret meetings in the barn, and led the singing of ‘Beasts of 
England’, with which the meetings always ended. 

Now, as it turned out, the Rebellion was achieved much earlier 
and more easily than anyone had expected. In past years Mr. Jones, 
although a hard master, had been a capable farmer, but of late he had 
fallen on evil days. He had become much disheartened after losing 
money in a lawsuit, and had taken to drinking more than was good for 
him. For whole days at a time he would lounge in his Windsor chair in 
the kitchen, reading the newspapers, drinking, and occasionally 
feeding Moses on crusts of bread soaked in beer. His men were idle 
and dishonest, the fields were full of weeds, the buildings wanted 
roofing, the hedges were neglected, and the animals were underfed. 

June came and the hay was almost ready for cutting. On 
Midsummer’s Eve, which was a Saturday, Mr. Jones went into 
Willingdon and got so drunk at the Red Lion that he did not come back 
till midday on Sunday. The men had milked the cows in the early 
morning and then had gone out rabbiting, without bothering to feed 
the animals. When Mr. Jones got back he immediately went to sleep on 
the drawing-room sofa with the News of the World over his face, so 
that when evening came, the animals were still unfed. At last they 
could stand it no longer. One of the cows broke in the door of the store- 
shed with her horn and all the animals began to help themselves from 
the bins. It was just then that Mr. Jones woke up. The next moment he 
and his four men were in the store-shed with whips in their hands, 
lashing out in all directions. This was more than the hungry animals 



could bear. With one accord, though nothing of the kind had been 
planned beforehand, they flung themselves upon their tormentors. 
Jones and his men suddenly found themselves being butted and kicked 
from all sides. The situation was quite out of their control. They had 
never seen animals behave like this before, and this sudden uprising of 
creatures whom they were used to thrashing and maltreating just as 
they chose, frightened them almost out of their wits. After only a 
moment or two they gave up trying to defend themselves and took to 
their heels. A minute later all five of them were in full flight down the 
cart-track that led to the main road, with the animals pursuing them in 
triumph. 

Mrs. Jones looked out of the bedroom window, saw what was 
happening, hurriedly flung a few possessions into a carpet bag, and 
slipped out of the farm by another way. Moses sprang off his perch and 
flapped after her, croaking loudly. Meanwhile the animals had chased 
Jones and his men out on to the road and slammed the five-barred 
gate behind them. And so, almost before they knew what was 
happening, the Rebellion had been successfully carried through: Jones 
was expelled, and the Manor Farm was theirs. 

For the first few minutes the animals could hardly believe in their 
good fortune. Their first act was to gallop in a body right round the 
boundaries of the farm, as though to make quite sure that no human 
being was hiding anywhere upon it; then they raced back to the farm 
buildings to wipe out the last traces of Jones’s hated reign. The 
harness-room at the end of the stables was broken open; the bits, the 
nose-rings, the dog-chains, the cruel knives with which Mr. Jones had 
been used to castrate the pigs and lambs, were all flung down the well. 
The reins, the halters, the blinkers, the degrading nosebags, were 
thrown on to the rubbish fire which was burning in the yard. So were 
the whips. All the animals capered with joy when they saw the whips 
going up in flames. Snowball also threw on to the fire the ribbons with 



which the horses’ manes and tails had usually been decorated on 
market days. 

“Ribbons,” he said, “should be considered as clothes, which are 
the mark of a human being. All animals should go naked.” 

When Boxer heard this he fetched the small straw hat which he 
wore in summer to keep the flies out of his ears, and flung it on to the 
fire with the rest. 

In a very little while the animals had destroyed everything that 
reminded them of Mr. Jones. Napoleon then led them back to the 
store-shed and served out a double ration of corn to everybody, with 
two biscuits for each dog. Then they sang ‘Beasts of England’ from end 
to end seven times running, and after that they settled down for the 
night and slept as they had never slept before. 

But they woke at dawn as usual, and suddenly remembering the 
glorious thing that had happened, they all raced out into the pasture 
together. A little way down the pasture there was a knoll that 
commanded a view of most of the farm. The animals rushed to the top 
of it and gazed round them in the clear morning light. Yes, it was theirs 
— everything that they could see was theirs! In the ecstasy of that 
thought they gambolled round and round, they hurled themselves into 
the air in great leaps of excitement. They rolled in the dew, they 
cropped mouthfuls of the sweet summer grass, they kicked up clods of 
the black earth and snuffed its rich scent. Then they made a tour of 
inspection of the whole farm and surveyed with speechless admiration 
the ploughland, the hayfield, the orchard, the pool, the spinney. It was 
as though they had never seen these things before, and even now they 
could hardly believe that it was all their own. 

Then they filed back to the farm buildings and halted in silence 
outside the door of the farmhouse. That was theirs too, but they were 
frightened to go inside. After a moment, however, Snowball and 



Napoleon butted the door open with their shoulders and the animals 
entered in single file, walking with the utmost care for fear of 
disturbing anything. They tiptoed from room to room, afraid to speak 
above a whisper and gazing with a kind of awe at the unbelievable 
luxury, at the beds with their feather mattresses, the looking-glasses, 
the horsehair sofa, the Brussels carpet, the lithograph of Queen 
Victoria over the drawing-room mantelpiece. They were lust coming 
down the stairs when Mollie was discovered to be missing. Going back, 
the others found that she had remained behind in the best bedroom. 
She had taken a piece of blue ribbon from Mrs. Jones’s dressing-table, 
and was holding it against her shoulder and admiring herself in the 
glass in a very foolish manner. The others reproached her sharply, and 
they went outside. Some hams hanging in the kitchen were taken out 
for burial, and the barrel of beer in the scullery was stove in with a kick 
from Boxer’s hoof, otherwise nothing in the house was touched. A 
unanimous resolution was passed on the spot that the farmhouse 
should be preserved as a museum. All were agreed that no animal must 
ever live there. 

The animals had their breakfast, and then Snowball and Napoleon 
called them together again. 

“Comrades,” said Snowball, “it is half-past six and we have a long 
day before us. Today we begin the hay harvest. But there is another 
matter that must be attended to first.” 

The pigs now revealed that during the past three months they had 
taught themselves to read and write from an old spelling book which 
had belonged to Mr. Jones’s children and which had been thrown on 
the rubbish heap. Napoleon sent for pots of black and white paint and 
led the way down to the five-barred gate that gave on to the main road. 
Then Snowball (for it was Snowball who was best at writing) took a 
brush between the two knuckles of his trotter, painted out MANOR 
FARM from the top bar of the gate and in its place painted ANIMAL 



FARM. This was to be the name of the farm from now onwards. After 
this they went back to the farm buildings, where Snowball and 
Napoleon sent for a ladder which they caused to be set against the end 
wall of the big barn. They explained that by their studies of the past 
three months the pigs had succeeded in reducing the principles of 
Animalism to Seven Commandments. These Seven Commandments 
would now be inscribed on the wall; they would form an unalterable 
law by which all the animals on Animal Farm must live for ever after. 
With some difficulty (for it is not easy for a pig to balance himself on a 
ladder) Snowball climbed up and set to work, with Squealer a few 
rungs below him holding the paint-pot. The Commandments were 
written on the tarred wall in great white letters that could be read 
thirty yards away. They ran thus: 

THE SEVEN COMMANDMENTS 

1. Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy. 

2. Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend. 

3. No animal shall wear clothes. 

4. No animal shall sleep in a bed. 

5. No animal shall drink alcohol. 

6. No animal shall kill any other animal. 

7. All animals are equal. 

It was very neatly written, and except that “friend” was written “freind” 
and one of the “S’s” was the wrong way round, the spelling was correct 
all the way through. Snowball read it aloud for the benefit of the 
others. All the animals nodded in complete agreement, and the 
cleverer ones at once began to learn the Commandments by heart. 

“Now, comrades,” cried Snowball, throwing down the paint-brush, 
“to the hayfield! Let us make it a point of honour to get in the harvest 
more quickly than Jones and his men could do.” 



But at this moment the three cows, who had seemed uneasy for 
some time past, set up a loud lowing. They had not been milked for 
twenty-four hours, and their udders were almost bursting. After a little 
thought, the pigs sent for buckets and milked the cows fairly 
successfully, their trotters being well adapted to this task. Soon there 
were five buckets of frothing creamy milk at which many of the 
animals looked with considerable interest. 

“What is going to happen to all that milk?” said someone. 

“Jones used sometimes to mix some of it in our mash,” said one of 
the hens. 

“Never mind the milk, comrades!” cried Napoleon, placing himself 
in front of the buckets. “That will be attended to. The harvest is more 
important. Comrade Snowball will lead the way. I shall follow in a few 
minutes. Forward, comrades! The hay is waiting.” 

So the animals trooped down to the hayfield to begin the harvest, 
and when they came back in the evening it was noticed that the milk 
had disappeared. 



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Animal Farm, by George Orwell 




Chapter 3 


H ow they toiled and sweated to get the hay in! But their efforts 
were rewarded, for the harvest was an even bigger success 
than they had hoped. 

Sometimes the work was hard; the implements had been designed 
for human beings and not for animals, and it was a great drawback 
that no animal was able to use any tool that involved standing on his 
hind legs. But the pigs were so clever that they could think of a way 
round every difficulty. As for the horses, they knew every inch of the 
field, and in fact understood the business of mowing and raking far 
better than Jones and his men had ever done. The pigs did not actually 
work, but directed and supervised the others. With their superior 
knowledge it was natural that they should assume the leadership. 
Boxer and Clover would harness themselves to the cutter or the horse- 
rake (no bits or reins were needed in these days, of course) and tramp 
steadily round and round the field with a pig walking behind and 
calling out “Gee up, comrade!” or “Whoa back, comrade!” as the case 
might be. And every animal down to the humblest worked at turning 
the hay and gathering it. Even the ducks and hens toiled to and fro all 
day in the sun, carrying tiny wisps of hay in their beaks. In the end they 
finished the harvest in two days’ less time than it had usually taken 
Jones and his men. Moreover, it was the biggest harvest that the farm 
had ever seen. There was no wastage whatever; the hens and ducks 
with their sharp eyes had gathered up the very last stalk. And not an 
animal on the farm had stolen so much as a mouthful. 

All through that summer the work of the farm went like 
clockwork. The animals were happy as they had never conceived it 
possible to be. Every mouthful of food was an acute positive pleasure, 
now that it was truly their own food, produced by themselves and for 



themselves, not doled out to them by a grudging master. With the 
worthless parasitical human beings gone, there was more for everyone 
to eat. There was more leisure too, inexperienced though the animals 
were. They met with many difficulties — for instance, later in the year, 
when they harvested the corn, they had to tread it out in the ancient 
style and blow away the chaff with their breath, since the farm 
possessed no threshing machine — but the pigs with their cleverness 
and Boxer with his tremendous muscles always pulled them through. 
Boxer was the admiration of everybody. He had been a hard worker 
even in Jones’s time, but now he seemed more like three horses than 
one; there were days when the entire work of the farm seemed to rest 
on his mighty shoulders. From morning to night he was pushing and 
pulling, always at the spot where the work was hardest. He had made 
an arrangement with one of the cockerels to call him in the mornings 
half an hour earlier than anyone else, and would put in some volunteer 
labour at whatever seemed to be most needed, before the regular day’s 
work began. His answer to every problem, every setback, was “I will 
work harder!”— which he had adopted as his personal motto. 

But everyone worked according to his capacity. The hens and 
ducks, for instance, saved five bushels of corn at the harvest by 
gathering up the stray grains. Nobody stole, nobody grumbled over his 
rations, the quarrelling and biting and jealousy which had been normal 
features of life in the old days had almost disappeared. Nobody shirked 
— or almost nobody. Mollie, it was true, was not good at getting up in 
the mornings, and had a way of leaving work early on the ground that 
there was a stone in her hoof. And the behaviour of the cat was 
somewhat peculiar. It was soon noticed that when there was work to be 
done the cat could never be found. She would vanish for hours on end, 
and then reappear at meal-times, or in the evening after work was 
over, as though nothing had happened. But she always made such 
excellent excuses, and purred so affectionately, that it was impossible 
not to believe in her good intentions. Old Benjamin, the donkey, 



seemed quite unchanged since the Rebellion. He did his work in the 
same slow obstinate way as he had done it in Jones’s time, never 
shirking and never volunteering for extra work either. About the 
Rebellion and its results he would express no opinion. When asked 
whether he was not happier now that Jones was gone, he would say 
only “Donkeys live a long time. None of you has ever seen a dead 
donkey,” and the others had to be content with this cryptic answer. 

On Sundays there was no work. Breakfast was an hour later than 
usual, and after breakfast there was a ceremony which was observed 
every week without fail. First came the hoisting of the flag. Snowball 
had found in the harness-room an old green tablecloth of Mrs. Jones’s 
and had painted on it a hoof and a horn in white. This was run up the 
flagstaff in the farmhouse garden every Sunday morning. The flag was 
green, Snowball explained, to represent the green fields of England, 
while the hoof and horn signified the future Republic of the Animals 
which would arise when the human race had been finally overthrown. 
After the hoisting of the flag all the animals trooped into the big barn 
for a general assembly which was known as the Meeting. Here the 
work of the coming week was planned out and resolutions were put 
forward and debated. It was always the pigs who put forward the 
resolutions. The other animals understood how to vote, but could 
never think of any resolutions of their own. Snowball and Napoleon 
were by far the most active in the debates. But it was noticed that these 
two were never in agreement: whatever suggestion either of them 
made, the other could be counted on to oppose it. Even when it was 
resolved — a thing no one could object to in itself — to set aside the 
small paddock behind the orchard as a home of rest for animals who 
were past work, there was a stormy debate over the correct retiring age 
for each class of animal. The Meeting always ended with the singing of 
‘Beasts of England’, and the afternoon was given up to recreation. 

The pigs had set aside the harness-room as a headquarters for 



themselves. Here, in the evenings, they studied blacksmithing, 
carpentering, and other necessary arts from books which they had 
brought out of the farmhouse. Snowball also busied himself with 
organising the other animals into what he called Animal Committees. 
He was indefatigable at this. He formed the Egg Production Committee 
for the hens, the Clean Tails League for the cows, the Wild Comrades’ 
Re-education Committee (the object of this was to tame the rats and 
rabbits), the Whiter Wool Movement for the sheep, and various others, 
besides instituting classes in reading and writing. On the whole, these 
projects were a failure. The attempt to tame the wild creatures, for 
instance, broke down almost immediately. They continued to behave 
very much as before, and when treated with generosity, simply took 
advantage of it. The cat joined the Re-education Committee and was 
very active in it for some days. She was seen one day sitting on a roof 
and talking to some sparrows who were just out of her reach. She was 
telling them that all animals were now comrades and that any sparrow 
who chose could come and perch on her paw; but the sparrows kept 
their distance. 

The reading and writing classes, however, were a great success. By 
the autumn almost every animal on the farm was literate in some 
degree. 

As for the pigs, they could already read and write perfectly. The 
dogs learned to read fairly well, but were not interested in reading 
anything except the Seven Commandments. Muriel, the goat, could 
read somewhat better than the dogs, and sometimes used to read to 
the others in the evenings from scraps of newspaper which she found 
on the rubbish heap. Benjamin could read as well as any pig, but never 
exercised his faculty. So far as he knew, he said, there was nothing 
worth reading. Clover learnt the whole alphabet, but could not put 
words together. Boxer could not get beyond the letter D. He would 
trace out A, B, C, D, in the dust with his great hoof, and then would 



stand staring at the letters with his ears back, sometimes shaking his 
forelock, trying with all his might to remember what came next and 
never succeeding. On several occasions, indeed, he did learn E, F, G, H, 
but by the time he knew them, it was always discovered that he had 
forgotten A, B, C, and D. Finally he decided to be content with the first 
four letters, and used to write them out once or twice every day to 
refresh his memory. Mollie refused to learn any but the six letters 
which spelt her own name. She would form these very neatly out of 
pieces of twig, and would then decorate them with a flower or two and 
walk round them admiring them. 

None of the other animals on the farm could get further than the 
letter A. It was also found that the stupider animals, such as the sheep, 
hens, and ducks, were unable to learn the Seven Commandments by 
heart. After much thought Snowball declared that the Seven 
Commandments could in effect be reduced to a single maxim, namely: 
“Four legs good, two legs bad.” This, he said, contained the essential 
principle of Animalism. Whoever had thoroughly grasped it would be 
safe from human influences. The birds at first objected, since it seemed 
to them that they also had two legs, but Snowball proved to them that 
this was not so. 

“A bird’s wing, comrades,” he said, “is an organ of propulsion and 
not of manipulation. It should therefore be regarded as a leg. The 
distinguishing mark of man is the HAND, the instrument with which 
he does all his mischief.” 

The birds did not understand Snowball’s long words, but they 
accepted his explanation, and all the humbler animals set to work to 
learn the new maxim by heart. FOUR LEGS GOOD, TWO LEGS BAD, 
was inscribed on the end wall of the barn, above the Seven 
Commandments and in bigger letters. When they had once got it by 
heart, the sheep developed a great liking for this maxim, and often as 
they lay in the field they would all start bleating “Four legs good, two 



legs bad! Four legs good, two legs bad!” and keep it up for hours on 
end, never growing tired of it. 

Napoleon took no interest in Snowball’s committees. He said that 
the education of the young was more important than anything that 
could be done for those who were already grown up. It happened that 
Jessie and Bluebell had both whelped soon after the hay harvest, giving 
birth between them to nine sturdy puppies. As soon as they were 
weaned, Napoleon took them away from their mothers, saying that he 
would make himself responsible for their education. He took them up 
into a loft which could only be reached by a ladder from the harness- 
room, and there kept them in such seclusion that the rest of the farm 
soon forgot their existence. 

The mystery of where the milk went to was soon cleared up. It was 
mixed every day into the pigs’ mash. The early apples were now 
ripening, and the grass of the orchard was littered with windfalls. The 
animals had assumed as a matter of course that these would be shared 
out equally; one day, however, the order went forth that all the 
windfalls were to be collected and brought to the harness-room for the 
use of the pigs. At this some of the other animals murmured, but it was 
no use. All the pigs were in full agreement on this point, even Snowball 
and Napoleon. Squealer was sent to make the necessary explanations 
to the others. 

“Comrades!” he cried. “You do not imagine, I hope, that we pigs 
are doing this in a spirit of selfishness and privilege? Many of us 
actually dislike milk and apples. I dislike them myself. Our sole object 
in taking these things is to preserve our health. Milk and apples (this 
has been proved by Science, comrades) contain substances absolutely 
necessary to the well-being of a pig. We pigs are brainworkers. The 
whole management and organisation of this farm depend on us. Day 
and night we are watching over your welfare. It is for YOUR sake that 
we drink that milk and eat those apples. Do you know what would 



happen if we pigs failed in our duty? Jones would come back! Yes, 
Jones would come back! Surely, comrades,” cried Squealer almost 
pleadingly, skipping from side to side and whisking his tail, “surely 
there is no one among you who wants to see Jones come back?” 

Now if there was one thing that the animals were completely 
certain of, it was that they did not want Jones back. When it was put to 
them in this light, they had no more to say. The importance of keeping 
the pigs in good health was all too obvious. So it was agreed without 
further argument that the milk and the windfall apples (and also the 
main crop of apples when they ripened) should be reserved for the pigs 
alone. 



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Animal Farm, by George Orwell 




Chapter 4 


B y the late summer the news of what had happened on Animal 
Farm had spread across half the county. Every day Snowball 
and Napoleon sent out flights of pigeons whose instructions 
were to mingle with the animals on neighbouring farms, tell them the 
story of the Rebellion, and teach them the tune of ‘Beasts of England’. 

Most of this time Mr. Jones had spent sitting in the taproom of the 
Red Lion at Willingdon, complaining to anyone who would listen of the 
monstrous injustice he had suffered in being turned out of his property 
by a pack of good-for-nothing animals. The other farmers sympathised 
in principle, but they did not at first give him much help. At heart, each 
of them was secretly wondering whether he could not somehow turn 
Jones’s misfortune to his own advantage. It was lucky that the owners 
of the two farms which adjoined Animal Farm were on permanently 
bad terms. One of them, which was named Foxwood, was a large, 
neglected, old-fashioned farm, much overgrown by woodland, with all 
its pastures worn out and its hedges in a disgraceful condition. Its 
owner, Mr. Pilkington, was an easy-going gentleman farmer who spent 
most of his time in fishing or hunting according to the season. The 
other farm, which was called Pinchfield, was smaller and better kept. 
Its owner was a Mr. Frederick, a tough, shrewd man, perpetually 
involved in lawsuits and with a name for driving hard bargains. These 
two disliked each other so much that it was difficult for them to come 
to any agreement, even in defence of their own interests. 

Nevertheless, they were both thoroughly frightened by the 
rebellion on Animal Farm, and very anxious to prevent their own 
animals from learning too much about it. At first they pretended to 
laugh to scorn the idea of animals managing a farm for themselves. 
The whole thing would be over in a fortnight, they said. They put it 



about that the animals on the Manor Farm (they insisted on calling it 
the Manor Farm; they would not tolerate the name “Animal Farm”) 
were perpetually fighting among themselves and were also rapidly 
starving to death. When time passed and the animals had evidently not 
starved to death, Frederick and Pilkington changed their tune and 
began to talk of the terrible wickedness that now flourished on Animal 
Farm. It was given out that the animals there practised cannibalism, 
tortured one another with red-hot horseshoes, and had their females in 
common. This was what came of rebelling against the laws of Nature, 
Frederick and Pilkington said. 

However, these stories were never fully believed. Rumours of a 
wonderful farm, where the human beings had been turned out and the 
animals managed their own affairs, continued to circulate in vague and 
distorted forms, and throughout that year a wave of rebelliousness ran 
through the countryside. Bulls which had always been tractable 
suddenly turned savage, sheep broke down hedges and devoured the 
clover, cows kicked the pail over, hunters refused their fences and shot 
their riders on to the other side. Above all, the tune and even the words 
of ‘Beasts of England’ were known everywhere. It had spread with 
astonishing speed. The human beings could not contain their rage 
when they heard this song, though they pretended to think it merely 
ridiculous. They could not understand, they said, how even animals 
could bring themselves to sing such contemptible rubbish. Any animal 
caught singing it was given a flogging on the spot. And yet the song was 
irrepressible. The blackbirds whistled it in the hedges, the pigeons 
cooed it in the elms, it got into the din of the smithies and the tune of 
the church bells. And when the human beings listened to it, they 
secretly trembled, hearing in it a prophecy of their future doom. 

Early in October, when the corn was cut and stacked and some of 
it was already threshed, a flight of pigeons came whirling through the 
air and alighted in the yard of Animal Farm in the wildest excitement. 



Jones and all his men, with half a dozen others from Foxwood and 
Pinchfield, had entered the five-barred gate and were coming up the 
cart-track that led to the farm. They were all carrying sticks, except 
Jones, who was marching ahead with a gun in his hands. Obviously 
they were going to attempt the recapture of the farm. 

This had long been expected, and all preparations had been made. 
Snowball, who had studied an old book of Julius Caesar’s campaigns 
which he had found in the farmhouse, was in charge of the defensive 
operations. He gave his orders quickly, and in a couple of minutes 
every animal was at his post. 

As the human beings approached the farm buildings, Snowball 
launched his first attack. All the pigeons, to the number of thirty-five, 
flew to and fro over the men’s heads and muted upon them from mid¬ 
air; and while the men were dealing with this, the geese, who had been 
hiding behind the hedge, rushed out and pecked viciously at the calves 
of their legs. However, this was only a light skirmishing manoeuvre, 
intended to create a little disorder, and the men easily drove the geese 
off with their sticks. Snowball now launched his second line of attack. 
Muriel, Benjamin, and all the sheep, with Snowball at the head of 
them, rushed forward and prodded and butted the men from every 
side, while Benjamin turned around and lashed at them with his small 
hoofs. But once again the men, with their sticks and their hobnailed 
boots, were too strong for them; and suddenly, at a squeal from 
Snowball, which was the signal for retreat, all the animals turned and 
fled through the gateway into the yard. 

The men gave a shout of triumph. They saw, as they imagined, 
their enemies in flight, and they rushed after them in disorder. This 
was just what Snowball had intended. As soon as they were well inside 
the yard, the three horses, the three cows, and the rest of the pigs, who 
had been lying in ambush in the cowshed, suddenly emerged in their 
rear, cutting them off. Snowball now gave the signal for the charge. He 



himself dashed straight for Jones. Jones saw him coming, raised his 
gun and fired. The pellets scored bloody streaks along Snowball’s back, 
and a sheep dropped dead. Without halting for an instant, Snowball 
flung his fifteen stone against Jones’s legs. Jones was hurled into a pile 
of dung and his gun flew out of his hands. But the most terrifying 
spectacle of all was Boxer, rearing up on his hind legs and striking out 
with his great iron-shod hoofs like a stallion. His very first blow took a 
stable-lad from Foxwood on the skull and stretched him lifeless in the 
mud. At the sight, several men dropped their sticks and tried to run. 
Panic overtook them, and the next moment all the animals together 
were chasing them round and round the yard. They were gored, kicked, 
bitten, trampled on. There was not an animal on the farm that did not 
take vengeance on them after his own fashion. Even the cat suddenly 
leapt off a roof onto a cowman’s shoulders and sank her claws in his 
neck, at which he yelled horribly. At a moment when the opening was 
clear, the men were glad enough to rush out of the yard and make a 
bolt for the main road. And so within five minutes of their invasion 
they were in ignominious retreat by the same way as they had come, 
with a flock of geese hissing after them and pecking at their calves all 
the way. 

All the men were gone except one. Back in the yard Boxer was 
pawing with his hoof at the stable-lad who lay face down in the mud, 
trying to turn him over. The boy did not stir. 

“He is dead,” said Boxer sorrowfully. “I had no intention of doing 
that. I forgot that I was wearing iron shoes. Who will believe that I did 
not do this on purpose?” 

“No sentimentality, comrade!” cried Snowball from whose wounds 
the blood was still dripping. “War is war. The only good human being 
is a dead one.” 

“I have no wish to take life, not even human life,” repeated Boxer, 
and his eyes were full of tears. 



“Where is Mollie?” exclaimed somebody. 

Mollie in fact was missing. For a moment there was great alarm; it 
was feared that the men might have harmed her in some way, or even 
carried her off with them. In the end, however, she was found hiding in 
her stall with her head buried among the hay in the manger. She had 
taken to flight as soon as the gun went off. And when the others came 
back from looking for her, it was to find that the stable-lad, who in fact 
was only stunned, had already recovered and made off. 

The animals had now reassembled in the wildest excitement, each 
recounting his own exploits in the battle at the top of his voice. An 
impromptu celebration of the victory was held immediately. The flag 
was run up and ‘Beasts of England’ was sung a number of times, then 
the sheep who had been killed was given a solemn funeral, a hawthorn 
bush being planted on her grave. At the graveside Snowball made a 
little speech, emphasising the need for all animals to be ready to die for 
Animal Farm if need be. 

The animals decided unanimously to create a military decoration, 
“Animal Hero, First Class,” which was conferred there and then on 
Snowball and Boxer. It consisted of a brass medal (they were really 
some old horse-brasses which had been found in the harness-room), to 
be worn on Sundays and holidays. There was also “Animal Hero, 
Second Class,” which was conferred posthumously on the dead sheep. 

There was much discussion as to what the battle should be called. 
In the end, it was named the Battle of the Cowshed, since that was 
where the ambush had been sprung. Mr. Jones’s gun had been found 
lying in the mud, and it was known that there was a supply of 
cartridges in the farmhouse. It was decided to set the gun up at the foot 
of the Flagstaff, like a piece of artillery, and to fire it twice a year — 
once on October the twelfth, the anniversary of the Battle of the 
Cowshed, and once on Midsummer Day, the anniversary of the 
Rebellion. 



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Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:58 



Animal Farm, by George Orwell 




Chapter 5 


A s winter drew on, Mollie became more and more troublesome. 
She was late for work every morning and excused herself by 
saying that she had overslept, and she complained of 
mysterious pains, although her appetite was excellent. On every kind of 
pretext she would run away from work and go to the drinking pool, 
where she would stand foolishly gazing at her own reflection in the 
water. But there were also rumours of something more serious. One 
day, as Mollie strolled blithely into the yard, flirting her long tail and 
chewing at a stalk of hay, Clover took her aside. 


“Mollie,” she said, “I have something very serious to say to you. 
This morning I saw you looking over the hedge that divides Animal 
Farm from Foxwood. One of Mr. Pilkington’s men was standing on the 
other side of the hedge. And — I was a long way away, but I am almost 
certain I saw this — he was talking to you and you were allowing him to 
stroke your nose. What does that mean, Mollie?” 


“He didn’t! I wasn’t! It isn’t true!” cried Mollie, beginning to 
prance about and paw the ground. 


“Mollie! Look me in the face. Do you give me your word of honour 
that that man was not stroking your nose?” 


“It isn’t true!” repeated Mollie, but she could not look Clover in the 
face, and the next moment she took to her heels and galloped away 
into the field. 


A thought struck Clover. Without saying anything to the others, 
she went to Mollie’s stall and turned over the straw with her hoof. 
Hidden under the straw was a little pile of lump sugar and several 
bunches of ribbon of different colours. 


Three days later Mollie disappeared. For some weeks nothing was 



known of her whereabouts, then the pigeons reported that they had 
seen her on the other side of Willingdon. She was between the shafts of 
a smart dogcart painted red and black, which was standing outside a 
public-house. A fat red-faced man in check breeches and gaiters, who 
looked like a publican, was stroking her nose and feeding her with 
sugar. Her coat was newly clipped and she wore a scarlet ribbon round 
her forelock. She appeared to be enjoying herself, so the pigeons said. 
None of the animals ever mentioned Mollie again. 

In January there came bitterly hard weather. The earth was like 
iron, and nothing could be done in the fields. Many meetings were held 
in the big barn, and the pigs occupied themselves with planning out 
the work of the coming season. It had come to be accepted that the 
pigs, who were manifestly cleverer than the other animals, should 
decide all questions of farm policy, though their decisions had to be 
ratified by a majority vote. This arrangement would have worked well 
enough if it had not been for the disputes between Snowball and 
Napoleon. These two disagreed at every point where disagreement was 
possible. If one of them suggested sowing a bigger acreage with barley, 
the other was certain to demand a bigger acreage of oats, and if one of 
them said that such and such a field was just right for cabbages, the 
other would declare that it was useless for anything except roots. Each 
had his own following, and there were some violent debates. At the 
Meetings Snowball often won over the majority by his brilliant 
speeches, but Napoleon was better at canvassing support for himself in 
between times. He was especially successful with the sheep. Of late the 
sheep had taken to bleating “Four legs good, two legs bad” both in and 
out of season, and they often interrupted the Meeting with this. It was 
noticed that they were especially liable to break into “Four legs good, 
two legs bad” at crucial moments in Snowball’s speeches. Snowball had 
made a close study of some back numbers of the ‘Farmer and 
Stockbreeder’ which he had found in the farmhouse, and was full of 
plans for innovations and improvements. He talked learnedly about 



field drains, silage, and basic slag, and had worked out a complicated 
scheme for all the animals to drop their dung directly in the fields, at a 
different spot every day, to save the labour of cartage. Napoleon 
produced no schemes of his own, but said quietly that Snowball’s 
would come to nothing, and seemed to be biding his time. But of all 
their controversies, none was so bitter as the one that took place over 
the windmill. 

In the long pasture, not far from the farm buildings, there was a 
small knoll which was the highest point on the farm. After surveying 
the ground, Snowball declared that this was just the place for a 
windmill, which could be made to operate a dynamo and supply the 
farm with electrical power. This would light the stalls and warm them 
in winter, and would also run a circular saw, a chaff-cutter, a mangel- 
slicer, and an electric milking machine. The animals had never heard 
of anything of this kind before (for the farm was an old-fashioned one 
and had only the most primitive machinery), and they listened in 
astonishment while Snowball conjured up pictures of fantastic 
machines which would do their work for them while they grazed at 
their ease in the fields or improved their minds with reading and 
conversation. 

Within a few weeks Snowball’s plans for the windmill were fully 
worked out. The mechanical details came mostly from three books 
which had belonged to Mr. Jones —‘One Thousand Useful Things to 
Do About the House’, ‘Every Man His Own Bricklayer’, and ‘Electricity 
for Beginners’. Snowball used as his study a shed which had once been 
used for incubators and had a smooth wooden floor, suitable for 
drawing on. He was closeted there for hours at a time. With his books 
held open by a stone, and with a piece of chalk gripped between the 
knuckles of his trotter, he would move rapidly to and fro, drawing in 
line after line and uttering little whimpers of excitement. Gradually the 
plans grew into a complicated mass of cranks and cog-wheels, covering 



more than half the floor, which the other animals found completely 
unintelligible but very impressive. All of them came to look at 
Snowball’s drawings at least once a day. Even the hens and ducks 
came, and were at pains not to tread on the chalk marks. Only 
Napoleon held aloof. He had declared himself against the windmill 
from the start. One day, however, he arrived unexpectedly to examine 
the plans. He walked heavily round the shed, looked closely at every 
detail of the plans and snuffed at them once or twice, then stood for a 
little while contemplating them out of the corner of his eye; then 
suddenly he lifted his leg, urinated over the plans, and walked out 
without uttering a word. 

The whole farm was deeply divided on the subject of the windmill. 
Snowball did not deny that to build it would be a difficult business. 
Stone would have to be carried and built up into walls, then the sails 
would have to be made and after that there would be need for dynamos 
and cables. (How these were to be procured, Snowball did not say.) But 
he maintained that it could all be done in a year. And thereafter, he 
declared, so much labour would be saved that the animals would only 
need to work three days a week. Napoleon, on the other hand, argued 
that the great need of the moment was to increase food production, 
and that if they wasted time on the windmill they would all starve to 
death. The animals formed themselves into two factions under the 
slogan, “Vote for Snowball and the three-day week” and “Vote for 
Napoleon and the full manger.” Benjamin was the only animal who did 
not side with either faction. He refused to believe either that food 
would become more plentiful or that the windmill would save work. 
Windmill or no windmill, he said, life would go on as it had always 
gone on — that is, badly. 

Apart from the disputes over the windmill, there was the question 
of the defence of the farm. It was fully realised that though the human 
beings had been defeated in the Battle of the Cowshed they might 



make another and more determined attempt to recapture the farm and 
reinstate Mr. Jones. They had all the more reason for doing so because 
the news of their defeat had spread across the countryside and made 
the animals on the neighbouring farms more restive than ever. As 
usual, Snowball and Napoleon were in disagreement. According to 
Napoleon, what the animals must do was to procure firearms and train 
themselves in the use of them. According to Snowball, they must send 
out more and more pigeons and stir up rebellion among the animals on 
the other farms. The one argued that if they could not defend 
themselves they were bound to be conquered, the other argued that if 
rebellions happened everywhere they would have no need to defend 
themselves. The animals listened first to Napoleon, then to Snowball, 
and could not make up their minds which was right; indeed, they 
always found themselves in agreement with the one who was speaking 
at the moment. 

At last the day came when Snowball’s plans were completed. At 
the Meeting on the following Sunday the question of whether or not to 
begin work on the windmill was to be put to the vote. When the 
animals had assembled in the big barn, Snowball stood up and, though 
occasionally interrupted by bleating from the sheep, set forth his 
reasons for advocating the building of the windmill. Then Napoleon 
stood up to reply. He said very quietly that the windmill was nonsense 
and that he advised nobody to vote for it, and promptly sat down 
again; he had spoken for barely thirty seconds, and seemed almost 
indifferent as to the effect he produced. At this Snowball sprang to his 
feet, and shouting down the sheep, who had begun bleating again, 
broke into a passionate appeal in favour of the windmill. Until now the 
animals had been about equally divided in their sympathies, but in a 
moment Snowball’s eloquence had carried them away. In glowing 
sentences he painted a picture of Animal Farm as it might be when 
sordid labour was lifted from the animals’ backs. His imagination had 
now run far beyond chaff-cutters and turnip-slicers. Electricity, he 



said, could operate threshing machines, ploughs, harrows, rollers, and 
reapers and binders, besides supplying every stall with its own electric 
light, hot and cold water, and an electric heater. By the time he had 
finished speaking, there was no doubt as to which way the vote would 
go. But just at this moment Napoleon stood up and, casting a peculiar 
sidelong look at Snowball, uttered a high-pitched whimper of a kind no 
one had ever heard him utter before. 

At this there was a terrible baying sound outside, and nine 
enormous dogs wearing brass-studded collars came bounding into the 
barn. They dashed straight for Snowball, who only sprang from his 
place just in time to escape their snapping jaws. In a moment he was 
out of the door and they were after him. Too amazed and frightened to 
speak, all the animals crowded through the door to watch the chase. 
Snowball was racing across the long pasture that led to the road. He 
was running as only a pig can run, but the dogs were close on his heels. 
Suddenly he slipped and it seemed certain that they had him. Then he 
was up again, running faster than ever, then the dogs were gaining on 
him again. One of them all but closed his jaws on Snowball’s tail, but 
Snowball whisked it free just in time. Then he put on an extra spurt 
and, with a few inches to spare, slipped through a hole in the hedge 
and was seen no more. 

Silent and terrified, the animals crept back into the barn. In a 
moment the dogs came bounding back. At first no one had been able to 
imagine where these creatures came from, but the problem was soon 
solved: they were the puppies whom Napoleon had taken away from 
their mothers and reared privately. Though not yet full-grown, they 
were huge dogs, and as fierce-looking as wolves. They kept close to 
Napoleon. It was noticed that they wagged their tails to him in the 
same way as the other dogs had been used to do to Mr. Jones. 

Napoleon, with the dogs following him, now mounted on to the 
raised portion of the floor where Major had previously stood to deliver 



his speech. He announced that from now on the Sunday-morning 
Meetings would come to an end. They were unnecessary, he said, and 
wasted time. In future all questions relating to the working of the farm 
would be settled by a special committee of pigs, presided over by 
himself. These would meet in private and afterwards communicate 
their decisions to the others. The animals would still assemble on 
Sunday mornings to salute the flag, sing ‘Beasts of England’, and 
receive their orders for the week; but there would be no more debates. 

In spite of the shock that Snowball’s expulsion had given them, the 
animals were dismayed by this announcement. Several of them would 
have protested if they could have found the right arguments. Even 
Boxer was vaguely troubled. He set his ears back, shook his forelock 
several times, and tried hard to marshal his thoughts; but in the end he 
could not think of anything to say. Some of the pigs themselves, 
however, were more articulate. Four young porkers in the front row 
uttered shrill squeals of disapproval, and all four of them sprang to 
their feet and began speaking at once. But suddenly the dogs sitting 
round Napoleon let out deep, menacing growls, and the pigs fell silent 
and sat down again. Then the sheep broke out into a tremendous 
bleating of “Four legs good, two legs bad!” which went on for nearly a 
quarter of an hour and put an end to any chance of discussion. 

Afterwards Squealer was sent round the farm to explain the new 
arrangement to the others. 

“Comrades,” he said, “I trust that every animal here appreciates 
the sacrifice that Comrade Napoleon has made in taking this extra 
labour upon himself. Do not imagine, comrades, that leadership is a 
pleasure! On the contrary, it is a deep and heavy responsibility. No one 
believes more firmly than Comrade Napoleon that all animals are 
equal. He would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for 
yourselves. But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, 
comrades, and then where should we be? Suppose you had decided to 



follow Snowball, with his moonshine of windmills — Snowball, who, as 
we now know, was no better than a criminal?” 

“He fought bravely at the Battle of the Cowshed,” said somebody. 

“Bravery is not enough,” said Squealer. “Loyalty and obedience are 
more important. And as to the Battle of the Cowshed, I believe the time 
will come when we shall find that Snowball’s part in it was much 
exaggerated. Discipline, comrades, iron discipline! That is the 
watchword for today. One false step, and our enemies would be upon 
us. Surely, comrades, you do not want Jones back?” 

Once again this argument was unanswerable. Certainly the 
animals did not want Jones back; if the holding of debates on Sunday 
mornings was liable to bring him back, then the debates must stop. 
Boxer, who had now had time to think things over, voiced the general 
feeling by saying: “If Comrade Napoleon says it, it must be right.” And 
from then on he adopted the maxim, “Napoleon is always right,” in 
addition to his private motto of “I will work harder.” 

By this time the weather had broken and the spring ploughing had 
begun. The shed where Snowball had drawn his plans of the windmill 
had been shut up and it was assumed that the plans had been rubbed 
off the floor. Every Sunday morning at ten o’clock the animals 
assembled in the big barn to receive their orders for the week. The 
skull of old Major, now clean of flesh, had been disinterred from the 
orchard and set up on a stump at the foot of the flagstaff, beside the 
gun. After the hoisting of the flag, the animals were required to file 
past the skull in a reverent manner before entering the barn. 
Nowadays they did not sit all together as they had done in the past. 
Napoleon, with Squealer and another pig named Minimus, who had a 
remarkable gift for composing songs and poems, sat on the front of the 
raised platform, with the nine young dogs forming a semicircle round 
them, and the other pigs sitting behind. The rest of the animals sat 
facing them in the main body of the barn. Napoleon read out the 



orders for the week in a gruff soldierly style, and after a single singing 
of ‘Beasts of England’, all the animals dispersed. 

On the third Sunday after Snowball’s expulsion, the animals were 
somewhat surprised to hear Napoleon announce that the windmill was 
to be built after all. He did not give any reason for having changed his 
mind, but merely warned the animals that this extra task would mean 
very hard work, it might even be necessary to reduce their rations. The 
plans, however, had all been prepared, down to the last detail. A 
special committee of pigs had been at work upon them for the past 
three weeks. The building of the windmill, with various other 
improvements, was expected to take two years. 

That evening Squealer explained privately to the other animals 
that Napoleon had never in reality been opposed to the windmill. On 
the contrary, it was he who had advocated it in the beginning, and the 
plan which Snowball had drawn on the floor of the incubator shed had 
actually been stolen from among Napoleon’s papers. The windmill was, 
in fact, Napoleon’s own creation. Why, then, asked somebody, had he 
spoken so strongly against it? Here Squealer looked very sly. That, he 
said, was Comrade Napoleon’s cunning. He had SEEMED to oppose 
the windmill, simply as a manoeuvre to get rid of Snowball, who was a 
dangerous character and a bad influence. Now that Snowball was out 
of the way, the plan could go forward without his interference. This, 
said Squealer, was something called tactics. He repeated a number of 
times, “Tactics, comrades, tactics!” skipping round and whisking his 
tail with a merry laugh. The animals were not certain what the word 
meant, but Squealer spoke so persuasively, and the three dogs who 
happened to be with him growled so threateningly, that they accepted 
his explanation without further questions. 



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Animal Farm, by George Orwell 




Chapter 6 


A ll that year the animals worked like slaves. But they were happy 
in their work; they grudged no effort or sacrifice, well aware 
that everything that they did was for the benefit of themselves 
and those of their kind who would come after them, and not for a pack 
of idle, thieving human beings. 


Throughout the spring and summer they worked a sixty-hour 
week, and in August Napoleon announced that there would be work on 
Sunday afternoons as well. This work was strictly voluntary, but any 
animal who absented himself from it would have his rations reduced 
by half. Even so, it was found necessary to leave certain tasks undone. 
The harvest was a little less successful than in the previous year, and 
two fields which should have been sown with roots in the early 
summer were not sown because the ploughing had not been completed 
early enough. It was possible to foresee that the coming winter would 
be a hard one. 


The windmill presented unexpected difficulties. There was a good 
quarry of limestone on the farm, and plenty of sand and cement had 
been found in one of the outhouses, so that all the materials for 
building were at hand. But the problem the animals could not at first 
solve was how to break up the stone into pieces of suitable size. There 
seemed no way of doing this except with picks and crowbars, which no 
animal could use, because no animal could stand on his hind legs. Only 
after weeks of vain effort did the right idea occur to somebody-namely, 
to utilise the force of gravity. Huge boulders, far too big to be used as 
they were, were lying all over the bed of the quarry. The animals lashed 
ropes round these, and then all together, cows, horses, sheep, any 
animal that could lay hold of the rope — even the pigs sometimes 
joined in at critical moments — they dragged them with desperate 



slowness up the slope to the top of the quarry, where they were toppled 
over the edge, to shatter to pieces below. Transporting the stone when 
it was once broken was comparatively simple. The horses carried it off 
in cart-loads, the sheep dragged single blocks, even Muriel and 
Benjamin yoked themselves into an old governess-cart and did their 
share. By late summer a sufficient store of stone had accumulated, and 
then the building began, under the superintendence of the pigs. 

But it was a slow, laborious process. Frequently it took a whole 
day of exhausting effort to drag a single boulder to the top of the 
quarry, and sometimes when it was pushed over the edge it failed to 
break. Nothing could have been achieved without Boxer, whose 
strength seemed equal to that of all the rest of the animals put 
together. When the boulder began to slip and the animals cried out in 
despair at finding themselves dragged down the hill, it was always 
Boxer who strained himself against the rope and brought the boulder 
to a stop. To see him toiling up the slope inch by inch, his breath 
coming fast, the tips of his hoofs clawing at the ground, and his great 
sides matted with sweat, filled everyone with admiration. Clover 
warned him sometimes to be careful not to overstrain himself, but 
Boxer would never listen to her. His two slogans, “I will work harder” 
and “Napoleon is always right,” seemed to him a sufficient answer to 
all problems. He had made arrangements with the cockerel to call him 
three-quarters of an hour earlier in the mornings instead of half an 
hour. And in his spare moments, of which there were not many 
nowadays, he would go alone to the quarry, collect a load of broken 
stone, and drag it down to the site of the windmill unassisted. 

The animals were not badly off throughout that summer, in spite 
of the hardness of their work. If they had no more food than they had 
had in Jones’s day, at least they did not have less. The advantage of 
only having to feed themselves, and not having to support five 
extravagant human beings as well, was so great that it would have 



taken a lot of failures to outweigh it. And in many ways the animal 
method of doing things was more efficient and saved labour. Such jobs 
as weeding, for instance, could be done with a thoroughness 
impossible to human beings. And again, since no animal now stole, it 
was unnecessary to fence off pasture from arable land, which saved a 
lot of labour on the upkeep of hedges and gates. Nevertheless, as the 
summer wore on, various unforeseen shortages began to make them 
selves felt. There was need of paraffin oil, nails, string, dog biscuits, 
and iron for the horses’ shoes, none of which could be produced on the 
farm. Later there would also be need for seeds and artificial manures, 
besides various tools and, finally, the machinery for the windmill. How 
these were to be procured, no one was able to imagine. 

One Sunday morning, when the animals assembled to receive 
their orders, Napoleon announced that he had decided upon a new 
policy. From now onwards Animal Farm would engage in trade with 
the neighbouring farms: not, of course, for any commercial purpose, 
but simply in order to obtain certain materials which were urgently 
necessary. The needs of the windmill must override everything else, he 
said. He was therefore making arrangements to sell a stack of hay and 
part of the current year’s wheat crop, and later on, if more money were 
needed, it would have to be made up by the sale of eggs, for which 
there was always a market in Willingdon. The hens, said Napoleon, 
should welcome this sacrifice as their own special contribution towards 
the building of the windmill. 

Once again the animals were conscious of a vague uneasiness. 
Never to have any dealings with human beings, never to engage in 
trade, never to make use of money — had not these been among the 
earliest resolutions passed at that first triumphant Meeting after Jones 
was expelled? All the animals remembered passing such resolutions: or 
at least they thought that they remembered it. The four young pigs who 
had protested when Napoleon abolished the Meetings raised their 



voices timidly, but they were promptly silenced by a tremendous 
growling from the dogs. Then, as usual, the sheep broke into “Four legs 
good, two legs bad!” and the momentary awkwardness was smoothed 
over. Finally Napoleon raised his trotter for silence and announced 
that he had already made all the arrangements. There would be no 
need for any of the animals to come in contact with human beings, 
which would clearly be most undesirable. He intended to take the 
whole burden upon his own shoulders. A Mr. Whymper, a solicitor 
living in Willingdon, had agreed to act as intermediary between 
Animal Farm and the outside world, and would visit the farm every 
Monday morning to receive his instructions. Napoleon ended his 
speech with his usual cry of “Long live Animal Farm!” and after the 
singing of ‘Beasts of England’ the animals were dismissed. 

Afterwards Squealer made a round of the farm and set the 
animals’ minds at rest. He assured them that the resolution against 
engaging in trade and using money had never been passed, or even 
suggested. It was pure imagination, probably traceable in the 
beginning to lies circulated by Snowball. A few animals still felt faintly 
doubtful, but Squealer asked them shrewdly, “Are you certain that this 
is not something that you have dreamed, comrades? Have you any 
record of such a resolution? Is it written down anywhere?” And since it 
was certainly true that nothing of the kind existed in writing, the 
animals were satisfied that they had been mistaken. 

Every Monday Mr. Whymper visited the farm as had been 
arranged. He was a sly-looking little man with side whiskers, a solicitor 
in a very small way of business, but sharp enough to have realised 
earlier than anyone else that Animal Farm would need a broker and 
that the commissions would be worth having. The animals watched his 
coming and going with a kind of dread, and avoided him as much as 
possible. Nevertheless, the sight of Napoleon, on all fours, delivering 
orders to Whymper, who stood on two legs, roused their pride and 



partly reconciled them to the new arrangement. Their relations with 
the human race were now not quite the same as they had been before. 
The human beings did not hate Animal Farm any less now that it was 
prospering; indeed, they hated it more than ever. Every human being 
held it as an article of faith that the farm would go bankrupt sooner or 
later, and, above all, that the windmill would be a failure. They would 
meet in the public-houses and prove to one another by means of 
diagrams that the windmill was bound to fall down, or that if it did 
stand up, then that it would never work. And yet, against their will, 
they had developed a certain respect for the efficiency with which the 
animals were managing their own affairs. One symptom of this was 
that they had begun to call Animal Farm by its proper name and 
ceased to pretend that it was called the Manor Farm. They had also 
dropped their championship of Jones, who had given up hope of 
getting his farm back and gone to live in another part of the county. 
Except through Whymper, there was as yet no contact between Animal 
Farm and the outside world, but there were constant rumours that 
Napoleon was about to enter into a definite business agreement either 
with Mr. Pilkington of Foxwood or with Mr. Frederick of Pinchfield — 
but never, it was noticed, with both simultaneously. 

It was about this time that the pigs suddenly moved into the 
farmhouse and took up their residence there. Again the animals 
seemed to remember that a resolution against this had been passed in 
the early days, and again Squealer was able to convince them that this 
was not the case. It was absolutely necessary, he said, that the pigs, 
who were the brains of the farm, should have a quiet place to work in. 
It was also more suited to the dignity of the Leader (for of late he had 
taken to speaking of Napoleon under the title of “Leader”) to live in a 
house than in a mere sty. Nevertheless, some of the animals were 
disturbed when they heard that the pigs not only took their meals in 
the kitchen and used the drawing-room as a recreation room, but also 
slept in the beds. Boxer passed it off as usual with “Napoleon is always 



right!”, but Clover, who thought she remembered a definite ruling 
against beds, went to the end of the barn and tried to puzzle out the 
Seven Commandments which were inscribed there. Finding herself 
unable to read more than individual letters, she fetched Muriel. 

“Muriel,” she said, “read me the Fourth Commandment. Does it 
not say something about never sleeping in a bed?” 

With some difficulty Muriel spelt it out. 

“It says, ‘No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets,”’ she 
announced finally. 

Curiously enough, Clover had not remembered that the Fourth 
Commandment mentioned sheets; but as it was there on the wall, it 
must have done so. And Squealer, who happened to be passing at this 
moment, attended by two or three dogs, was able to put the whole 
matter in its proper perspective. 

“You have heard then, comrades,” he said, “that we pigs now sleep 
in the beds of the farmhouse? And why not? You did not suppose, 
surely, that there was ever a ruling against beds? A bed merely means a 
place to sleep in. A pile of straw in a stall is a bed, properly regarded. 
The rule was against sheets, which are a human invention. We have 
removed the sheets from the farmhouse beds, and sleep between 
blankets. And very comfortable beds they are too! But not more 
comfortable than we need, I can tell you, comrades, with all the 
brainwork we have to do nowadays. You would not rob us of our 
repose, would you, comrades? You would not have us too tired to carry 
out our duties? Surely none of you wishes to see Jones back?” 

The animals reassured him on this point immediately, and no 
more was said about the pigs sleeping in the farmhouse beds. And 
when, some days afterwards, it was announced that from now on the 
pigs would get up an hour later in the mornings than the other 
animals, no complaint was made about that either. 



By the autumn the animals were tired but happy. They had had a 
hard year, and after the sale of part of the hay and corn, the stores of 
food for the winter were none too plentiful, but the windmill 
compensated for everything. It was almost half built now. After the 
harvest there was a stretch of clear dry weather, and the animals toiled 
harder than ever, thinking it well worth while to plod to and fro all day 
with blocks of stone if by doing so they could raise the walls another 
foot. Boxer would even come out at nights and work for an hour or two 
on his own by the light of the harvest moon. In their spare moments 
the animals would walk round and round the half-finished mill, 
admiring the strength and perpendicularity of its walls and marvelling 
that they should ever have been able to build anything so imposing. 
Only old Benjamin refused to grow enthusiastic about the windmill, 
though, as usual, he would utter nothing beyond the cryptic remark 
that donkeys live a long time. 

November came, with raging south-west winds. Building had to 
stop because it was now too wet to mix the cement. Finally there came 
a night when the gale was so violent that the farm buildings rocked on 
their foundations and several tiles were blown off the roof of the barn. 
The hens woke up squawking with terror because they had all dreamed 
simultaneously of hearing a gun go off in the distance. In the morning 
the animals came out of their stalls to find that the flagstaff had been 
blown down and an elm tree at the foot of the orchard had been 
plucked up like a radish. They had just noticed this when a cry of 
despair broke from every animal’s throat. A terrible sight had met their 
eyes. The windmill was in ruins. 

With one accord they dashed down to the spot. Napoleon, who 
seldom moved out of a walk, raced ahead of them all. Yes, there it lay, 
the fruit of all their struggles, levelled to its foundations, the stones 
they had broken and carried so laboriously scattered all around. 
Unable at first to speak, they stood gazing mournfully at the litter of 



fallen stone. Napoleon paced to and fro in silence, occasionally 
snuffing at the ground. His tail had grown rigid and twitched sharply 
from side to side, a sign in him of intense mental activity. Suddenly he 
halted as though his mind were made up. 

“Comrades,” he said quietly, “do you know who is responsible for 
this? Do you know the enemy who has come in the night and 
overthrown our windmill? SNOWBALL!” he suddenly roared in a voice 
of thunder. “Snowball has done this thing! In sheer malignity, thinking 
to set back our plans and avenge himself for his ignominious 
expulsion, this traitor has crept here under cover of night and 
destroyed our work of nearly a year. Comrades, here and now I 
pronounce the death sentence upon Snowball. ‘Animal Hero, Second 
Class,’ and half a bushel of apples to any animal who brings him to 
justice. A full bushel to anyone who captures him alive!” 

The animals were shocked beyond measure to learn that even 
Snowball could be guilty of such an action. There was a cry of 
indignation, and everyone began thinking out ways of catching 
Snowball if he should ever come back. Almost immediately the 
footprints of a pig were discovered in the grass at a little distance from 
the knoll. They could only be traced for a few yards, but appeared to 
lead to a hole in the hedge. Napoleon snuffed deeply at them and 
pronounced them to be Snowball’s. He gave it as his opinion that 
Snowball had probably come from the direction of Foxwood Farm. 

“No more delays, comrades!” cried Napoleon when the footprints 
had been examined. “There is work to be done. This very morning we 
begin rebuilding the windmill, and we will build all through the winter, 
rain or shine. We will teach this miserable traitor that he cannot undo 
our work so easily. Remember, comrades, there must be no alteration 
in our plans: they shall be carried out to the day. Forward, comrades! 
Long live the windmill! Long live Animal Farm!” 



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Animal Farm, by George Orwell 




Chapter 7 


I t was a bitter winter. The stormy weather was followed by sleet 
and snow, and then by a hard frost which did not break till well 
into February. The animals carried on as best they could with the 
rebuilding of the windmill, well knowing that the outside world was 
watching them and that the envious human beings would rejoice and 
triumph if the mill were not finished on time. 

Out of spite, the human beings pretended not to believe that it was 
Snowball who had destroyer the windmill: they said that it had fallen 
down because the walls were too thin. The animals knew that this was 
not the case. Still, it had been decided to build the walls three feet thick 
this time instead of eighteen inches as before, which meant collecting 
much larger quantities of stone. For a long time the quarry was full of 
snowdrifts and nothing could be done. Some progress was made in the 
dry frosty weather that followed, but it was cruel work, and the animals 
could not feel so hopeful about it as they had felt before. They were 
always cold, and usually hungry as well. Only Boxer and Clover never 
lost heart. Squealer made excellent speeches on the joy of service and 
the dignity of labour, but the other animals found more inspiration in 
Boxer’s strength and his never-failing cry of “I will work harder!” 

In January food fell short. The corn ration was drastically reduced, 
and it was announced that an extra potato ration would be issued to 
make up for it. Then it was discovered that the greater part of the 
potato crop had been frosted in the clamps, which had not been 
covered thickly enough. The potatoes had become soft and 
discoloured, and only a few were edible. For days at a time the animals 
had nothing to eat but chaff and mangels. Starvation seemed to stare 
them in the face. 

It was vitally necessary to conceal this fact from the outside world. 



Emboldened by the collapse of the windmill, the human beings were 
inventing fresh lies about Animal Farm. Once again it was being put 
about that all the animals were dying of famine and disease, and that 
they were continually fighting among themselves and had resorted to 
cannibalism and infanticide. Napoleon was well aware of the bad 
results that might follow if the real facts of the food situation were 
known, and he decided to make use of Mr. Whymper to spread a 
contrary impression. Hitherto the animals had had little or no contact 
with Whymper on his weekly visits: now, however, a few selected 
animals, mostly sheep, were instructed to remark casually in his 
hearing that rations had been increased. In addition, Napoleon 
ordered the almost empty bins in the store-shed to be filled nearly to 
the brim with sand, which was then covered up with what remained of 
the grain and meal. On some suitable pretext Whymper was led 
through the store-shed and allowed to catch a glimpse of the bins. He 
was deceived, and continued to report to the outside world that there 
was no food shortage on Animal Farm. 

Nevertheless, towards the end of January it became obvious that it 
would be necessary to procure some more grain from somewhere. In 
these days Napoleon rarely appeared in public, but spent all his time in 
the farmhouse, which was guarded at each door by fierce-looking dogs. 
When he did emerge, it was in a ceremonial manner, with an escort of 
six dogs who closely surrounded him and growled if anyone came too 
near. Frequently he did not even appear on Sunday mornings, but 
issued his orders through one of the other pigs, usually Squealer. 

One Sunday morning Squealer announced that the hens, who had 
just come in to lay again, must surrender their eggs. Napoleon had 
accepted, through Whymper, a contract for four hundred eggs a week. 
The price of these would pay for enough grain and meal to keep the 
farm going till summer came on and conditions were easier. 

When the hens heard this, they raised a terrible outcry. They had 



been warned earlier that this sacrifice might be necessary, but had not 
believed that it would really happen. They were just getting their 
clutches ready for the spring sitting, and they protested that to take the 
eggs away now was murder. For the first time since the expulsion of 
Jones, there was something resembling a rebellion. Led by three young 
Black Minorca pullets, the hens made a determined effort to thwart 
Napoleon’s wishes. Their method was to fly up to the rafters and there 
lay their eggs, which smashed to pieces on the floor. Napoleon acted 
swiftly and ruthlessly. He ordered the hens’ rations to be stopped, and 
decreed that any animal giving so much as a grain of corn to a hen 
should be punished by death. The dogs saw to it that these orders were 
carried out. For five days the hens held out, then they capitulated and 
went back to their nesting boxes. Nine hens had died in the meantime. 
Their bodies were buried in the orchard, and it was given out that they 
had died of coccidiosis. Whymper heard nothing of this affair, and the 
eggs were duly delivered, a grocer’s van driving up to the farm once a 
week to take them away. 

All this while no more had been seen of Snowball. He was 
rumoured to be hiding on one of the neighbouring farms, either 
Foxwood or Pinchfield. Napoleon was by this time on slightly better 
terms with the other farmers than before. It happened that there was 
in the yard a pile of timber which had been stacked there ten years 
earlier when a beech spinney was cleared. It was well seasoned, and 
Whymper had advised Napoleon to sell it; both Mr. Pilkington and Mr. 
Frederick were anxious to buy it. Napoleon was hesitating between the 
two, unable to make up his mind. It was noticed that whenever he 
seemed on the point of coming to an agreement with Frederick, 
Snowball was declared to be in hiding at Foxwood, while, when he 
inclined toward Pilkington, Snowball was said to be at Pinchfield. 

Suddenly, early in the spring, an alarming thing was discovered. 
Snowball was secretly frequenting the farm by night! The animals were 



so disturbed that they could hardly sleep in their stalls. Every night, it 
was said, he came creeping in under cover of darkness and performed 
all kinds of mischief. He stole the corn, he upset the milk-pails, he 
broke the eggs, he trampled the seedbeds, he gnawed the bark off the 
fruit trees. Whenever anything went wrong it became usual to attribute 
it to Snowball. If a window was broken or a drain was blocked up, 
someone was certain to say that Snowball had come in the night and 
done it, and when the key of the store-shed was lost, the whole farm 
was convinced that Snowball had thrown it down the well. Curiously 
enough, they went on believing this even after the mislaid key was 
found under a sack of meal. The cows declared unanimously that 
Snowball crept into their stalls and milked them in their sleep. The 
rats, which had been troublesome that winter, were also said to be in 
league with Snowball. 

Napoleon decreed that there should be a full investigation into 
Snowball’s activities. With his dogs in attendance he set out and made 
a careful tour of inspection of the farm buildings, the other animals 
following at a respectful distance. At every few steps Napoleon stopped 
and snuffed the ground for traces of Snowball’s footsteps, which, he 
said, he could detect by the smell. He snuffed in every corner, in the 
barn, in the cow-shed, in the henhouses, in the vegetable garden, and 
found traces of Snowball almost everywhere. He would put his snout to 
the ground, give several deep sniffs, ad exclaim in a terrible voice, 
“Snowball! He has been here! I can smell him distinctly!” and at the 
word “Snowball” all the dogs let out blood-curdling growls and showed 
their side teeth. 

The animals were thoroughly frightened. It seemed to them as 
though Snowball were some kind of invisible influence, pervading the 
air about them and menacing them with all kinds of dangers. In the 
evening Squealer called them together, and with an alarmed 
expression on his face told them that he had some serious news to 



report. 

“Comrades!” cried Squealer, making little nervous skips, “a most 
terrible thing has been discovered. Snowball has sold himself to 
Frederick of Pinchfield Farm, who is even now plotting to attack us 
and take our farm away from us! Snowball is to act as his guide when 
the attack begins. But there is worse than that. We had thought that 
Snowball’s rebellion was caused simply by his vanity and ambition. But 
we were wrong, comrades. Do you know what the real reason was? 
Snowball was in league with Jones from the very start! He was Jones’s 
secret agent all the time. It has all been proved by documents which he 
left behind him and which we have only just discovered. To my mind 
this explains a great deal, comrades. Did we not see for ourselves how 
he attempted — fortunately without success — to get us defeated and 
destroyed at the Battle of the Cowshed?” 

The animals were stupefied. This was a wickedness far outdoing 
Snowball’s destruction of the windmill. But it was some minutes before 
they could fully take it in. They all remembered, or thought they 
remembered, how they had seen Snowball charging ahead of them at 
the Battle of the Cowshed, how he had rallied and encouraged them at 
every turn, and how he had not paused for an instant even when the 
pellets from Jones’s gun had wounded his back. At first it was a little 
difficult to see how this fitted in with his being on Jones’s side. Even 
Boxer, who seldom asked questions, was puzzled. He lay down, tucked 
his fore hoofs beneath him, shut his eyes, and with a hard effort 
managed to formulate his thoughts. 

“I do not believe that,” he said. “Snowball fought bravely at the 
Battle of the Cowshed. I saw him myself. Did we not give him ‘Animal 
Hero, first Class,’ immediately afterwards?” 

“That was our mistake, comrade. For we know now — it is all 
written down in the secret documents that we have found — that in 
reality he was trying to lure us to our doom.” 



“But he was wounded,” said Boxer. “We all saw him running with 
blood.” 

“That was part of the arrangement!” cried Squealer. “Jones’s shot 
only grazed him. I could show you this in his own writing, if you were 
able to read it. The plot was for Snowball, at the critical moment, to 
give the signal for flight and leave the field to the enemy. And he very 
nearly succeeded — I will even say, comrades, he WOULD have 
succeeded if it had not been for our heroic Leader, Comrade Napoleon. 
Do you not remember how, just at the moment when Jones and his 
men had got inside the yard, Snowball suddenly turned and fled, and 
many animals followed him? And do you not remember, too, that it 
was just at that moment, when panic was spreading and all seemed 
lost, that Comrade Napoleon sprang forward with a cry of ‘Death to 
Humanity!’ and sank his teeth in Jones’s leg? Surely you remember 
THAT, comrades?” exclaimed Squealer, frisking from side to side. 

Now when Squealer described the scene so graphically, it seemed 
to the animals that they did remember it. At any rate, they 
remembered that at the critical moment of the battle Snowball had 
turned to flee. But Boxer was still a little uneasy. 

“I do not believe that Snowball was a traitor at the beginning,” he 
said finally. “What he has done since is different. But I believe that at 
the Battle of the Cowshed he was a good comrade.” 

“Our Leader, Comrade Napoleon,” announced Squealer, speaking 
very slowly and firmly, “has stated categorically — categorically, 
comrade — that Snowball was Jones’s agent from the very beginning — 
yes, and from long before the Rebellion was ever thought of.” 

“Ah, that is different!” said Boxer. “If Comrade Napoleon says it, it 
must be right.” 

“That is the true spirit, comrade!” cried Squealer, but it was 
noticed he cast a very ugly look at Boxer with his little twinkling eyes. 



He turned to go, then paused and added impressively: “I warn every 
animal on this farm to keep his eyes very wide open. For we have 
reason to think that some of Snowball’s secret agents are lurking 
among us at this moment!” 

Four days later, in the late afternoon, Napoleon ordered all the 
animals to assemble in the yard. When they were all gathered together, 
Napoleon emerged from the farmhouse, wearing both his medals (for 
he had recently awarded himself “Animal Hero, First Class”, and 
“Animal Hero, Second Class”), with his nine huge dogs frisking round 
him and uttering growls that sent shivers down all the animals’ spines. 
They all cowered silently in their places, seeming to know in advance 
that some terrible thing was about to happen. 

Napoleon stood sternly surveying his audience; then he uttered a 
high-pitched whimper. Immediately the dogs bounded forward, seized 
four of the pigs by the ear and dragged them, squealing with pain and 
terror, to Napoleon’s feet. The pigs’ ears were bleeding, the dogs had 
tasted blood, and for a few moments they appeared to go quite mad. To 
the amazement of everybody, three of them flung themselves upon 
Boxer. Boxer saw them coming and put out his great hoof, caught a dog 
in mid-air, and pinned him to the ground. The dog shrieked for mercy 
and the other two fled with their tails between their legs. Boxer looked 
at Napoleon to know whether he should crush the dog to death or let it 
go. Napoleon appeared to change countenance, and sharply ordered 
Boxer to let the dog go, whereat Boxer lifted his hoof, and the dog 
slunk away, bruised and howling. 

Presently the tumult died down. The four pigs waited, trembling, 
with guilt written on every line of their countenances. Napoleon now 
called upon them to confess their crimes. They were the same four pigs 
as had protested when Napoleon abolished the Sunday Meetings. 
Without any further prompting they confessed that they had been 
secretly in touch with Snowball ever since his expulsion, that they had 



collaborated with him in destroying the windmill, and that they had 
entered into an agreement with him to hand over Animal Farm to Mr. 
Frederick. They added that Snowball had privately admitted to them 
that he had been Jones’s secret agent for years past. When they had 
finished their confession, the dogs promptly tore their throats out, and 
in a terrible voice Napoleon demanded whether any other animal had 
anything to confess. 

The three hens who had been the ringleaders in the attempted 
rebellion over the eggs now came forward and stated that Snowball 
had appeared to them in a dream and incited them to disobey 
Napoleon’s orders. They, too, were slaughtered. Then a goose came 
forward and confessed to having secreted six ears of corn during the 
last year’s harvest and eaten them in the night. Then a sheep confessed 
to having urinated in the drinking pool — urged to do this, so she said, 
by Snowball — and two other sheep confessed to having murdered an 
old ram, an especially devoted follower of Napoleon, by chasing him 
round and round a bonfire when he was suffering from a cough. They 
were all slain on the spot. And so the tale of confessions and executions 
went on, until there was a pile of corpses lying before Napoleon’s feet 
and the air was heavy with the smell of blood, which had been 
unknown there since the expulsion of Jones. 

When it was all over, the remaining animals, except for the pigs 
and dogs, crept away in a body. They were shaken and miserable. They 
did not know which was more shocking — the treachery of the animals 
who had leagued themselves with Snowball, or the cruel retribution 
they had just witnessed. In the old days there had often been scenes of 
bloodshed equally terrible, but it seemed to all of them that it was far 
worse now that it was happening among themselves. Since Jones had 
left the farm, until today, no animal had killed another animal. Not 
even a rat had been killed. They had made their way on to the little 
knoll where the half-finished windmill stood, and with one accord they 



all lay down as though huddling together for warmth — Clover, Muriel, 
Benjamin, the cows, the sheep, and a whole flock of geese and hens — 
everyone, indeed, except the cat, who had suddenly disappeared just 
before Napoleon ordered the animals to assemble. For some time 
nobody spoke. Only Boxer remained on his feet. He fidgeted to and fro, 
swishing his long black tail against his sides and occasionally uttering a 
little whinny of surprise. Finally he said: 

“I do not understand it. I would not have believed that such things 
could happen on our farm. It must be due to some fault in ourselves. 
The solution, as I see it, is to work harder. From now onwards I shall 
get up a full hour earlier in the mornings.” 

And he moved off at his lumbering trot and made for the quarry. 
Having got there, he collected two successive loads of stone and 
dragged them down to the windmill before retiring for the night. 

The animals huddled about Clover, not speaking. The knoll where 
they were lying gave them a wide prospect across the countryside. 
Most of Animal Farm was within their view — the long pasture 
stretching down to the main road, the hayfield, the spinney, the 
drinking pool, the ploughed fields where the young wheat was thick 
and green, and the red roofs of the farm buildings with the smoke 
curling from the chimneys. It was a clear spring evening. The grass and 
the bursting hedges were gilded by the level rays of the sun. Never had 
the farm — and with a kind of surprise they remembered that it was 
their own farm, every inch of it their own property — appeared to the 
animals so desirable a place. As Clover looked down the hillside her 
eyes filled with tears. If she could have spoken her thoughts, it would 
have been to say that this was not what they had aimed at when they 
had set themselves years ago to work for the overthrow of the human 
race. These scenes of terror and slaughter were not what they had 
looked forward to on that night when old Major first stirred them to 
rebellion. If she herself had had any picture of the future, it had been of 



a society of animals set free from hunger and the whip, all equal, each 
working according to his capacity, the strong protecting the weak, as 
she had protected the lost brood of ducklings with her foreleg on the 
night of Major’s speech. Instead — she did not know why — they had 
come to a time when no one dared speak his mind, when fierce, 
growling dogs roamed everywhere, and when you had to watch your 
comrades torn to pieces after confessing to shocking crimes. There was 
no thought of rebellion or disobedience in her mind. She knew that, 
even as things were, they were far better off than they had been in the 
days of Jones, and that before all else it was needful to prevent the 
return of the human beings. Whatever happened she would remain 
faithful, work hard, carry out the orders that were given to her, and 
accept the leadership of Napoleon. But still, it was not for this that she 
and all the other animals had hoped and toiled. It was not for this that 
they had built the windmill and faced the bullets of Jones’s gun. Such 
were her thoughts, though she lacked the words to express them. 

At last, feeling this to be in some way a substitute for the words 
she was unable to find, she began to sing ‘Beasts of England’. The other 
animals sitting round her took it up, and they sang it three times over 
— very tunefully, but slowly and mournfully, in a way they had never 
sung it before. 

They had just finished singing it for the third time when Squealer, 
attended by two dogs, approached them with the air of having 
something important to say. He announced that, by a special decree of 
Comrade Napoleon, ‘Beasts of England’ had been abolished. From now 
onwards it was forbidden to sing it. 

The animals were taken aback. 

“Why?” cried Muriel. 

“It’s no longer needed, comrade,” said Squealer stiffly. “‘Beasts of 
England’ was the song of the Rebellion. But the Rebellion is now 



completed. The execution of the traitors this afternoon was the final 
act. The enemy both external and internal has been defeated. In 
‘Beasts of England’ we expressed our longing for a better society in 
days to come. But that society has now been established. Clearly this 
song has no longer any purpose.” 

Frightened though they were, some of the animals might possibly 
have protested, but at this moment the sheep set up their usual 
bleating of “Four legs good, two legs bad,” which went on for several 
minutes and put an end to the discussion. 

So ‘Beasts of England’ was heard no more. In its place Minimus, 
the poet, had composed another song which began: 

Animal Farm, Animal Farm, 

Never through me shalt thou come to harm! 

and this was sung every Sunday morning after the hoisting of the flag. 
But somehow neither the words nor the tune ever seemed to the 
animals to come up to ‘Beasts of England’. 



https://ebooks.adelaide.edu.aU/o/orwell/george/o79a/chapter7.html 


Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:58 



Animal Farm, by George Orwell 




Chapter 8 


A few days later, when the terror caused by the executions had 
died down, some of the animals remembered — or thought 
they remembered — that the Sixth Commandment decreed “No 
animal shall kill any other animal.” And though no one cared to 
mention it in the hearing of the pigs or the dogs, it was felt that the 
killings which had taken place did not square with this. Clover asked 
Benjamin to read her the Sixth Commandment, and when Benjamin, 
as usual, said that he refused to meddle in such matters, she fetched 
Muriel. Muriel read the Commandment for her. It ran: “No animal 
shall kill any other animal WITHOUT CAUSE.” Somehow or other, the 
last two words had slipped out of the animals’ memory. But they saw 
now that the Commandment had not been violated; for clearly there 
was good reason for killing the traitors who had leagued themselves 
with Snowball. 

Throughout the year the animals worked even harder than they 
had worked in the previous year. To rebuild the windmill, with walls 
twice as thick as before, and to finish it by the appointed date, together 
with the regular work of the farm, was a tremendous labour. There 
were times when it seemed to the animals that they worked longer 
hours and fed no better than they had done in Jones’s day. On Sunday 
mornings Squealer, holding down a long strip of paper with his trotter, 
would read out to them lists of figures proving that the production of 
every class of foodstuff had increased by two hundred per cent, three 
hundred per cent, or five hundred per cent, as the case might be. The 
animals saw no reason to disbelieve him, especially as they could no 
longer remember very clearly what conditions had been like before the 
Rebellion. All the same, there were days when they felt that they would 
sooner have had less figures and more food. 



All orders were now issued through Squealer or one of the other 
pigs. Napoleon himself was not seen in public as often as once in a 
fortnight. When he did appear, he was attended not only by his retinue 
of dogs but by a black cockerel who marched in front of him and acted 
as a kind of trumpeter, letting out a loud “cock-a-doodle-doo” before 
Napoleon spoke. Even in the farmhouse, it was said, Napoleon 
inhabited separate apartments from the others. He took his meals 
alone, with two dogs to wait upon him, and always ate from the Crown 
Derby dinner service which had been in the glass cupboard in the 
drawing-room. It was also announced that the gun would be fired 
every year on Napoleon’s birthday, as well as on the other two 
anniversaries. 

Napoleon was now never spoken of simply as “Napoleon.” He was 
always referred to in formal style as “our Leader, Comrade Napoleon,” 
and this pigs liked to invent for him such titles as Father of All 
Animals, Terror of Mankind, Protector of the Sheep-fold, Ducklings’ 
Friend, and the like. In his speeches, Squealer would talk with the tears 
rolling down his cheeks of Napoleon’s wisdom the goodness of his 
heart, and the deep love he bore to all animals everywhere, even and 
especially the unhappy animals who still lived in ignorance and slavery 
on other farms. It had become usual to give Napoleon the credit for 
every successful achievement and every stroke of good fortune. You 
would often hear one hen remark to another, “Under the guidance of 
our Leader, Comrade Napoleon, I have laid five eggs in six days”; or 
two cows, enjoying a drink at the pool, would exclaim, “Thanks to the 
leadership of Comrade Napoleon, how excellent this water tastes!” The 
general feeling on the farm was well expressed in a poem entitled 
Comrade Napoleon, which was composed by Minimus and which ran 
as follows: 

Friend of fatherless! 

Fountain of happiness! 



Lord of the swill-bucket! Oh, how my soul is on 
Fire when I gaze at thy 
Calm and commanding eye, 

Like the sun in the sky, 

Comrade Napoleon! 

Thou are the giver of 
All that thy creatures love, 

Full belly twice a day, clean straw to roll upon; 

Every beast great or small 
Sleeps at peace in his stall, 

Thou watchest over all, 

Comrade Napoleon! 

Had I a sucking-pig, 

Ere he had grown as big 

Even as a pint bottle or as a rolling-pin, 

He should have learned to be 
Faithful and true to thee, 

Yes, his first squeak should be 
“Comrade Napoleon!” 

Napoleon approved of this poem and caused it to be inscribed on the 
wall of the big barn, at the opposite end from the Seven 
Commandments. It was surmounted by a portrait of Napoleon, in 
profile, executed by Squealer in white paint. 

Meanwhile, through the agency of Whymper, Napoleon was 
engaged in complicated negotiations with Frederick and Pilkington. 



The pile of timber was still unsold. Of the two, Frederick was the more 
anxious to get hold of it, but he would not offer a reasonable price. At 
the same time there were renewed rumours that Frederick and his men 
were plotting to attack Animal Farm and to destroy the windmill, the 
building of which had aroused furious jealousy in him. Snowball was 
known to be still skulking on Pinchfield Farm. In the middle of the 
summer the animals were alarmed to hear that three hens had come 
forward and confessed that, inspired by Snowball, they had entered 
into a plot to murder Napoleon. They were executed immediately, and 
fresh precautions for Napoleon’s safety were taken. Four dogs guarded 
his bed at night, one at each corner, and a young pig named Pinkeye 
was given the task of tasting all his food before he ate it, lest it should 
be poisoned. 

At about the same time it was given out that Napoleon had 
arranged to sell the pile of timber to Mr. Pilkington; he was also going 
to enter into a regular agreement for the exchange of certain products 
between Animal Farm and Foxwood. The relations between Napoleon 
and Pilkington, though they were only conducted through Whymper, 
were now almost friendly. The animals distrusted Pilkington, as a 
human being, but greatly preferred him to Frederick, whom they both 
feared and hated. As the summer wore on, and the windmill neared 
completion, the rumours of an impending treacherous attack grew 
stronger and stronger. Frederick, it was said, intended to bring against 
them twenty men all armed with guns, and he had already bribed the 
magistrates and police, so that if he could once get hold of the title- 
deeds of Animal Farm they would ask no questions. Moreover, terrible 
stories were leaking out from Pinchfield about the cruelties that 
Frederick practised upon his animals. He had flogged an old horse to 
death, he starved his cows, he had killed a dog by throwing it into the 
furnace, he amused himself in the evenings by making cocks fight with 
splinters of razor-blade tied to their spurs. The animals’ blood boiled 
with rage when they heard of these things beingdone to their 



comrades, and sometimes they clamoured to be allowed to go out in a 
body and attack Pinchfield Farm, drive out the humans, and set the 
animals free. But Squealer counselled them to avoid rash actions and 
trust in Comrade Napoleon’s strategy. 

Nevertheless, feeling against Frederick continued to run high. One 
Sunday morning Napoleon appeared in the barn and explained that he 
had never at any time contemplated selling the pile of timber to 
Frederick; he considered it beneath his dignity, he said, to have 
dealings with scoundrels of that description. The pigeons who were 
still sent out to spread tidings of the Rebellion were forbidden to set 
foot anywhere on Foxwood, and were also ordered to drop their former 
slogan of “Death to Humanity” in favour of “Death to Frederick.” In the 
late summer yet another of Snowball’s machinations was laid bare. The 
wheat crop was full of weeds, and it was discovered that on one of his 
nocturnal visits Snowball had mixed weed seeds with the seed corn. A 
gander who had been privy to the plot had confessed his guilt to 
Squealer and immediately committed suicide by swallowing deadly 
nightshade berries. The animals now also learned that Snowball had 
never — as many of them had believed hitherto — received the order of 
“Animal Hero, First Class.” This was merely a legend which had been 
spread some time after the Battle of the Cowshed by Snowball himself. 
So far from being decorated, he had been censured for showing 
cowardice in the battle. Once again some of the animals heard this with 
a certain bewilderment, but Squealer was soon able to convince them 
that their memories had been at fault. 

In the autumn, by a tremendous, exhausting effort — for the 
harvest had to be gathered at almost the same time — the windmill was 
finished. The machinery had still to be installed, and Whymper was 
negotiating the purchase of it, but the structure was completed. In the 
teeth of every difficulty, in spite of inexperience, of primitive 
implements, of bad luck and of Snowball’s treachery, the work had 



been finished punctually to the very day! Tired out but proud, the 
animals walked round and round their masterpiece, which appeared 
even more beautiful in their eyes than when it had been built the first 
time. Moreover, the walls were twice as thick as before. Nothing short 
of explosives would lay them low this time! And when they thought of 
how they had laboured, what discouragements they had overcome, and 
the enormous difference that would be made in their lives when the 
sails were turning and the dynamos running — when they thought of 
all this, their tiredness forsook them and they gambolled round and 
round the windmill, uttering cries of triumph. Napoleon himself, 
attended by his dogs and his cockerel, came down to inspect the 
completed work; he personally congratulated the animals on their 
achievement, and announced that the mill would be named Napoleon 
Mill. 

Two days later the animals were called together for a special 
meeting in the barn. They were struck dumb with surprise when 
Napoleon announced that he had sold the pile of timber to Frederick. 
Tomorrow Frederick’s wagons would arrive and begin carting it away. 
Throughout the whole period of his seeming friendship with 
Pilkington, Napoleon had really been in secret agreement with 
Frederick. 

All relations with Foxwood had been broken off; insulting 
messages had been sent to Pilkington. The pigeons had been told to 
avoid Pinchfield Farm and to alter their slogan from “Death to 
Frederick” to “Death to Pilkington.” At the same time Napoleon 
assured the animals that the stories of an impending attack on Animal 
Farm were completely untrue, and that the tales about Frederick’s 
cruelty to his own animals had been greatly exaggerated. All these 
rumours had probably originated with Snowball and his agents. It now 
appeared that Snowball was not, after all, hiding on Pinchfield Farm, 
and in fact had never been there in his life: he was living — in 



considerable luxury, so it was said — at Foxwood, and had in reality 
been a pensioner of Pilkington for years past. 

The pigs were in ecstasies over Napoleon’s cunning. By seeming to 
be friendly with Pilkington he had forced Frederick to raise his price by 
twelve pounds. But the superior quality of Napoleon’s mind, said 
Squealer, was shown in the fact that he trusted nobody, not even 
Frederick. Frederick had wanted to pay for the timber with something 
called a cheque, which, it seemed, was a piece of paper with a promise 
to pay written upon it. But Napoleon was too clever for him. He had 
demanded payment in real five-pound notes, which were to be handed 
over before the timber was removed. Already Frederick had paid up; 
and the sum he had paid was just enough to buy the machinery for the 
windmill. 

Meanwhile the timber was being carted away at high speed. When 
it was all gone, another special meeting was held in the barn for the 
animals to inspect Frederick’s bank-notes. Smiling beatifically, and 
wearing both his decorations, Napoleon reposed on a bed of straw on 
the platform, with the money at his side, neatly piled on a china dish 
from the farmhouse kitchen. The animals filed slowly past, and each 
gazed his fill. And Boxer put out his nose to sniff at the bank-notes, 
and the flimsy white things stirred and rustled in his breath. 

Three days later there was a terrible hullabaloo. Whymper, his 
face deadly pale, came racing up the path on his bicycle, flung it down 
in the yard and rushed straight into the farmhouse. The next moment a 
choking roar of rage sounded from Napoleon’s apartments. The news 
of what had happened sped round the farm like wildfire. The 
banknotes were forgeries! Frederick had got the timber for nothing! 

Napoleon called the animals together immediately and in a 
terrible voice pronounced the death sentence upon Frederick. When 
captured, he said, Frederick should be boiled alive. At the same time he 
warned them that after this treacherous deed the worst was to be 



expected. Frederick and his men might make their long-expected 
attack at any moment. Sentinels were placed at all the approaches to 
the farm. In addition, four pigeons were sent to Foxwood with a 
conciliatory message, which it was hoped might re-establish good 
relations with Pilkington. 

The very next morning the attack came. The animals were at 
breakfast when the look-outs came racing in with the news that 
Frederick and his followers had already come through the five-barred 
gate. Boldly enough the animals sallied forth to meet them, but this 
time they did not have the easy victory that they had had in the Battle 
of the Cowshed. There were fifteen men, with half a dozen guns 
between them, and they opened fire as soon as they got within fifty 
yards. The animals could not face the terrible explosions and the 
stinging pellets, and in spite of the efforts of Napoleon and Boxer to 
rally them, they were soon driven back. A number of them were 
already wounded. They took refuge in the farm buildings and peeped 
cautiously out from chinks and knot-holes. The whole of the big 
pasture, including the windmill, was in the hands of the enemy. For the 
moment even Napoleon seemed at a loss. He paced up and down 
without a word, his tail rigid and twitching. Wistful glances were sent 
in the direction of Foxwood. If Pilkington and his men would help 
them, the day might yet be won. But at this moment the four pigeons, 
who had been sent out on the day before, returned, one of them 
bearing a scrap of paper from Pilkington. On it was pencilled the 
words: “Serves you right.” 

Meanwhile Frederick and his men had halted about the windmill. 
The animals watched them, and a murmur of dismay went round. Two 
of the men had produced a crowbar and a sledge hammer. They were 
going to knock the windmill down. 

“Impossible!” cried Napoleon. “We have built the walls far too 
thick for that. They could not knock it down in a week. Courage, 



comrades!” 

But Benjamin was watching the movements of the men intently. 
The two with the hammer and the crowbar were drilling a hole near 
the base of the windmill. Slowly, and with an air almost of amusement, 
Benjamin nodded his long muzzle. 

“I thought so,” he said. “Do you not see what they are doing? In 
another moment they are going to pack blasting powder into that 
hole.” 

Terrified, the animals waited. It was impossible now to venture 
out of the shelter of the buildings. After a few minutes the men were 
seen to be running in all directions. Then there was a deafening roar. 
The pigeons swirled into the air, and all the animals, except Napoleon, 
flung themselves flat on their bellies and hid their faces. When they got 
up again, a huge cloud of black smoke was hanging where the windmill 
had been. Slowly the breeze drifted it away. The windmill had ceased to 
exist! 

At this sight the animals’ courage returned to them. The fear and 
despair they had felt a moment earlier were drowned in their rage 
against this vile, contemptible act. A mighty cry for vengeance went up, 
and without waiting for further orders they charged forth in a body and 
made straight for the enemy. This time they did not heed the cruel 
pellets that swept over them like hail. It was a savage, bitter battle. The 
men fired again and again, and, when the animals got to close quarters, 
lashed out with their sticks and their heavy boots. A cow, three sheep, 
and two geese were killed, and nearly everyone was wounded. Even 
Napoleon, who was directing operations from the rear, had the tip of 
his tail chipped by a pellet. But the men did not go unscathed either. 
Three of them had their heads broken by blows from Boxer’s hoofs; 
another was gored in the belly by a cow’s horn; another had his 
trousers nearly torn off by Jessie and Bluebell. And when the nine dogs 
of Napoleon’s own bodyguard, whom he had instructed to make a 



detour under cover of the hedge, suddenly appeared on the men’s 
flank, baying ferociously, panic overtook them. They saw that they 
were in danger of being surrounded. Frederick shouted to his men to 
get out while the going was good, and the next moment the cowardly 
enemy was running for dear life. The animals chased them right down 
to the bottom of the field, and got in some last kicks at them as they 
forced their way through the thorn hedge. 

They had won, but they were weary and bleeding. Slowly they 
began to limp back towards the farm. The sight of their dead comrades 
stretched upon the grass moved some of them to tears. And for a little 
while they halted in sorrowful silence at the place where the windmill 
had once stood. Yes, it was gone; almost the last trace of their labour 
was gone! Even the foundations were partially destroyed. And in 
rebuilding it they could not this time, as before, make use of the fallen 
stones. This time the stones had vanished too. The force of the 
explosion had flung them to distances of hundreds of yards. It was as 
though the windmill had never been. 

As they approached the farm Squealer, who had unaccountably 
been absent during the fighting, came skipping towards them, 
whisking his tail and beaming with satisfaction. And the animals 
heard, from the direction of the farm buildings, the solemn booming of 
a gun. 

“What is that gun firing for?” said Boxer. 

“To celebrate our victory!” cried Squealer. 

“What victory?” said Boxer. His knees were bleeding, he had lost a 
shoe and split his hoof, and a dozen pellets had lodged themselves in 
his hind leg. 

“What victory, comrade? Have we not driven the enemy off our 
soil — the sacred soil of Animal Farm?” 

“But they have destroyed the windmill. And we had worked on it 



for two years!” 

“What matter? We will build another windmill. We will build six 
windmills if we feel like it. You do not appreciate, comrade, the mighty 
thing that we have done. The enemy was in occupation of this very 
ground that we stand upon. And now — thanks to the leadership of 
Comrade Napoleon — we have won every inch of it back again!” 

“Then we have won back what we had before,” said Boxer. 

“That is our victory,” said Squealer. 

They limped into the yard. The pellets under the skin of Boxer’s 
leg smarted painfully. He saw ahead of him the heavy labour of 
rebuilding the windmill from the foundations, and already in 
imagination he braced himself for the task. But for the first time it 
occurred to him that he was eleven years old and that perhaps his great 
muscles were not quite what they had once been. 

But when the animals saw the green flag flying, and heard the gun 
firing again — seven times it was fired in all — and heard the speech 
that Napoleon made, congratulating them on their conduct, it did seem 
to them after all that they had won a great victory. The animals slain in 
the battle were given a solemn funeral. Boxer and Clover pulled the 
wagon which served as a hearse, and Napoleon himself walked at the 
head of the procession. Two whole days were given over to 
celebrations. There were songs, speeches, and more firing of the gun, 
and a special gift of an apple was bestowed on every animal, with two 
ounces of corn for each bird and three biscuits for each dog. It was 
announced that the battle would be called the Battle of the Windmill, 
and that Napoleon had created a new decoration, the Order of the 
Green Banner, which he had conferred upon himself. In the general 
rejoicings the unfortunate affair of the banknotes was forgotten. 

It was a few days later than this that the pigs came upon a case of 
whisky in the cellars of the farmhouse. It had been overlooked at the 



time when the house was first occupied. That night there came from 
the farmhouse the sound of loud singing, in which, to everyone’s 
surprise, the strains of ‘Beasts of England’ were mixed up. At about 
half past nine Napoleon, wearing an old bowler hat of Mr. Jones’s, was 
distinctly seen to emerge from the back door, gallop rapidly round the 
yard, and disappear indoors again. But in the morning a deep silence 
hung over the farmhouse. Not a pig appeared to be stirring. It was 
nearly nine o’clock when Squealer made his appearance, walking 
slowly and dejectedly, his eyes dull, his tail hanging limply behind him, 
and with every appearance of being seriously ill. He called the animals 
together and told them that he had a terrible piece of news to impart. 
Comrade Napoleon was dying! 

A cry of lamentation went up. Straw was laid down outside the 
doors of the farmhouse, and the animals walked on tiptoe. With tears 
in their eyes they asked one another what they should do if their 
Leader were taken away from them. A rumour went round that 
Snowball had after all contrived to introduce poison into Napoleon’s 
food. At eleven o’clock Squealer came out to make another 
announcement. As his last act upon earth, Comrade Napoleon had 
pronounced a solemn decree: the drinking of alcohol was to be 
punished by death. 

By the evening, however, Napoleon appeared to be somewhat 
better, and the following morning Squealer was able to tell them that 
he was well on the way to recovery. By the evening of that day 
Napoleon was back at work, and on the next day it was learned that he 
had instructed Whymper to purchase in Willingdon some booklets on 
brewing and distilling. A week later Napoleon gave orders that the 
small paddock beyond the orchard, which it had previously been 
intended to set aside as a grazing-ground for animals who were past 
work, was to be ploughed up. It was given out that the pasture was 
exhausted and needed re-seeding; but it soon became known that 



Napoleon intended to sow it with barley. 

About this time there occurred a strange incident which hardly 
anyone was able to understand. One night at about twelve o’clock there 
was a loud crash in the yard, and the animals rushed out of their stalls. 
It was a moonlit night. At the foot of the end wall of the big barn, 
where the Seven Commandments were written, there lay a ladder 
broken in two pieces. Squealer, temporarily stunned, was sprawling 
beside it, and near at hand there lay a lantern, a paint-brush, and an 
overturned pot of white paint. The dogs immediately made a ring 
round Squealer, and escorted him back to the farmhouse as soon as he 
was able to walk. None of the animals could form any idea as to what 
this meant, except old Benjamin, who nodded his muzzle with a 
knowing air, and seemed to understand, but would say nothing. 

But a few days later Muriel, reading over the Seven 
Commandments to herself, noticed that there was yet another of them 
which the animals had remembered wrong. They had thought the Fifth 
Commandment was “No animal shall drink alcohol,” but there were 
two words that they had forgotten. Actually the Commandment read: 
“No animal shall drink alcohol TO EXCESS.” 



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Animal Farm, by George Orwell 




Chapter 9 


B oxer’s split hoof was a long time in healing. They had started 
the rebuilding of the windmill the day after the victory 
celebrations were ended. Boxer refused to take even a day off 
work, and made it a point of honour not to let it be seen that he was in 
pain. In the evenings he would admit privately to Clover that the hoof 
troubled him a great deal. Clover treated the hoof with poultices of 
herbs which she prepared by chewing them, and both she and 
Benjamin urged Boxer to work less hard. “A horse’s lungs do not last 
for ever,” she said to him. But Boxer would not listen. He had, he said, 
only one real ambition left — to see the windmill well under way before 
he reached the age for retirement. 


At the beginning, when the laws of Animal Farm were first 
formulated, the retiring age had been fixed for horses and pigs at 
twelve, for cows at fourteen, for dogs at nine, for sheep at seven, and 
for hens and geese at five. Liberal old-age pensions had been agreed 
upon. As yet no animal had actually retired on pension, but of late the 
subject had been discussed more and more. Now that the small field 
beyond the orchard had been set aside for barley, it was rumoured that 
a corner of the large pasture was to be fenced off and turned into a 
grazing-ground for superannuated animals. For a horse, it was said, 
the pension would be five pounds of corn a day and, in winter, fifteen 
pounds of hay, with a carrot or possibly an apple on public holidays. 
Boxer’s twelfth birthday was due in the late summer of the following 
year. 


Meanwhile life was hard. The winter was as cold as the last one 
had been, and food was even shorter. Once again all rations were 
reduced, except those of the pigs and the dogs. A too rigid equality in 
rations, Squealer explained, would have been contrary to the principles 



of Animalism. In any case he had no difficulty in proving to the other 
animals that they were NOT in reality short of food, whatever the 
appearances might be. For the time being, certainly, it had been found 
necessary to make a readjustment of rations (Squealer always spoke of 
it as a “readjustment,” never as a “reduction”), but in comparison with 
the days of Jones, the improvement was enormous. Reading out the 
figures in a shrill, rapid voice, he proved to them in detail that they had 
more oats, more hay, more turnips than they had had in Jones’s day, 
that they worked shorter hours, that their drinking water was of better 
quality, that they lived longer, that a larger proportion of their young 
ones survived infancy, and that they had more straw in their stalls and 
suffered less from fleas. The animals believed every word of it. Truth to 
tell, Jones and all he stood for had almost faded out of their memories. 
They knew that life nowadays was harsh and bare, that they were often 
hungry and often cold, and that they were usually working when they 
were not asleep. But doubtless it had been worse in the old days. They 
were glad to believe so. Besides, in those days they had been slaves and 
now they were free, and that made all the difference, as Squealer did 
not fail to point out. 

There were many more mouths to feed now. In the autumn the 
four sows had all littered about simultaneously, producing thirty-one 
young pigs between them. The young pigs were piebald, and as 
Napoleon was the only boar on the farm, it was possible to guess at 
their parentage. It was announced that later, when bricks and timber 
had been purchased, a schoolroom would be built in the farmhouse 
garden. For the time being, the young pigs were given their instruction 
by Napoleon himself in the farmhouse kitchen. They took their 
exercise in the garden, and were discouraged from playing with the 
other young animals. About this time, too, it was laid down as a rule 
that when a pig and any other animal met on the path, the other 
animal must stand aside: and also that all pigs, of whatever degree, 
were to have the privilege of wearing green ribbons on their tails on 



Sundays. 

The farm had had a fairly successful year, but was still short of 
money. There were the bricks, sand, and lime for the schoolroom to be 
purchased, and it would also be necessary to begin saving up again for 
the machinery for the windmill. Then there were lamp oil and candles 
for the house, sugar for Napoleon’s own table (he forbade this to the 
other pigs, on the ground that it made them fat), and all the usual 
replacements such as tools, nails, string, coal, wire, scrap-iron, and dog 
biscuits. A stump of hay and part of the potato crop were sold off, and 
the contract for eggs was increased to six hundred a week, so that that 
year the hens barely hatched enough chicks to keep their numbers at 
the same level. Rations, reduced in December, were reduced again in 
February, and lanterns in the stalls were forbidden to save oil. But the 
pigs seemed comfortable enough, and in fact were putting on weight if 
anything. One afternoon in late February a warm, rich, appetising 
scent, such as the animals had never smelt before, wafted itself across 
the yard from the little brew-house, which had been disused in Jones’s 
time, and which stood beyond the kitchen. Someone said it was the 
smell of cooking barley. The animals sniffed the air hungrily and 
wondered whether a warm mash was being prepared for their supper. 
But no warm mash appeared, and on the following Sunday it was 
announced that from now onwards all barley would be reserved for the 
pigs. The field beyond the orchard had already been sown with barley. 
And the news soon leaked out that every pig was now receiving a ration 
of a pint of beer daily, with half a gallon for Napoleon himself, which 
was always served to him in the Crown Derby soup tureen. 

But if there were hardships to be borne, they were partly offset by 
the fact that life nowadays had a greater dignity than it had had before. 
There were more songs, more speeches, more processions. Napoleon 
had commanded that once a week there should be held something 
called a Spontaneous Demonstration, the object of which was to 



celebrate the struggles and triumphs of Animal Farm. At the appointed 
time the animals would leave their work and march round the 
precincts of the farm in military formation, with the pigs leading, then 
the horses, then the cows, then the sheep, and then the poultry. The 
dogs flanked the procession and at the head of all marched Napoleon’s 
black cockerel. Boxer and Clover always carried between them a green 
banner marked with the hoof and the horn and the caption, “Long live 
Comrade Napoleon!” Afterwards there were recitations of poems 
composed in Napoleon’s honour, and a speech by Squealer giving 
particulars of the latest increases in the production of foodstuffs, and 
on occasion a shot was fired from the gun. The sheep were the greatest 
devotees of the Spontaneous Demonstration, and if anyone 
complained (as a few animals sometimes did, when no pigs or dogs 
were near) that they wasted time and meant a lot of standing about in 
the cold, the sheep were sure to silence him with a tremendous 
bleating of “Four legs good, two legs bad!” But by and large the animals 
enjoyed these celebrations. They found it comforting to be reminded 
that, after all, they were truly their own masters and that the work they 
did was for their own benefit. So that, what with the songs, the 
processions, Squealer’s lists of figures, the thunder of the gun, the 
crowing of the cockerel, and the fluttering of the flag, they were able to 
forget that their bellies were empty, at least part of the time. 

In April, Animal Farm was proclaimed a Republic, and it became 
necessary to elect a President. There was only one candidate, 
Napoleon, who was elected unanimously. On the same day it was given 
out that fresh documents had been discovered which revealed further 
details about Snowball’s complicity with Jones. It now appeared that 
Snowball had not, as the animals had previously imagined, merely 
attempted to lose the Battle of the Cowshed by means of a stratagem, 
but had been openly fighting on Jones’s side. In fact, it was he who had 
actually been the leader of the human forces, and had charged into 
battle with the words “Long live Humanity!” on his lips. The wounds 



on Snowball’s back, which a few of the animals still remembered to 
have seen, had been inflicted by Napoleon’s teeth. 

In the middle of the summer Moses the raven suddenly 
reappeared on the farm, after an absence of several years. He was quite 
unchanged, still did no work, and talked in the same strain as ever 
about Sugarcandy Mountain. He would perch on a stump, flap his 
black wings, and talk by the hour to anyone who would listen. “Up 
there, comrades,” he would say solemnly, pointing to the sky with his 
large beak —“up there, just on the other side of that dark cloud that 
you can see — there it lies, Sugarcandy Mountain, that happy country 
where we poor animals shall rest for ever from our labours!” He even 
claimed to have been there on one of his higher flights, and to have 
seen the everlasting fields of clover and the linseed cake and lump 
sugar growing on the hedges. Many of the animals believed him. Their 
lives now, they reasoned, were hungry and laborious; was it not right 
and just that a better world should exist somewhere else? A thing that 
was difficult to determine was the attitude of the pigs towards Moses. 
They all declared contemptuously that his stories about Sugarcandy 
Mountain were lies, and yet they allowed him to remain on the farm, 
not working, with an allowance of a gill of beer a day. 

After his hoof had healed up, Boxer worked harder than ever. 
Indeed, all the animals worked like slaves that year. Apart from the 
regular work of the farm, and the rebuilding of the windmill, there was 
the schoolhouse for the young pigs, which was started in March. 
Sometimes the long hours on insufficient food were hard to bear, but 
Boxer never faltered. In nothing that he said or did was there any sign 
that his strength was not what it had been. It was only his appearance 
that was a little altered; his hide was less shiny than it had used to be, 
and his great haunches seemed to have shrunken. The others said, 
“Boxer will pick up when the spring grass comes on”; but the spring 
came and Boxer grew no fatter. Sometimes on the slope leading to the 



top of the quarry, when he braced his muscles against the weight of 
some vast boulder, it seemed that nothing kept him on his feet except 
the will to continue. At such times his lips were seen to form the words, 
“I will work harder”; he had no voice left. Once again Clover and 
Benjamin warned him to take care of his health, but Boxer paid no 
attention. His twelfth birthday was approaching. He did not care what 
happened so long as a good store of stone was accumulated before he 
went on pension. 

Late one evening in the summer, a sudden rumour ran round the 
farm that something had happened to Boxer. He had gone out alone to 
drag a load of stone down to the windmill. And sure enough, the 
rumour was true. A few minutes later two pigeons came racing in with 
the news; “Boxer has fallen! He is lying on his side and can’t get up!” 

About half the animals on the farm rushed out to the knoll where 
the windmill stood. There lay Boxer, between the shafts of the cart, his 
neck stretched out, unable even to raise his head. His eyes were glazed, 
his sides matted with sweat. A thin stream of blood had trickled out of 
his mouth. Clover dropped to her knees at his side. 

“Boxer!” she cried, “how are you?” 

“It is my lung,” said Boxer in a weak voice. “It does not matter. I 
think you will be able to finish the windmill without me. There is a 
pretty good store of stone accumulated. I had only another month to go 
in any case. To tell you the truth, I had been looking forward to my 
retirement. And perhaps, as Benjamin is growing old too, they will let 
him retire at the same time and be a companion to me.” 

“We must get help at once,” said Clover. “Run, somebody, and tell 
Squealer what has happened.” 

All the other animals immediately raced back to the farmhouse to 
give Squealer the news. Only Clover remained, and Benjamin who lay 
down at Boxer’s side, and, without speaking, kept the flies off him with 



his long tail. After about a quarter of an hour Squealer appeared, full of 
sympathy and concern. He said that Comrade Napoleon had learned 
with the very deepest distress of this misfortune to one of the most 
loyal workers on the farm, and was already making arrangements to 
send Boxer to be treated in the hospital at Willingdon. The animals felt 
a little uneasy at this. Except for Mollie and Snowball, no other animal 
had ever left the farm, and they did not like to think of their sick 
comrade in the hands of human beings. However, Squealer easily 
convinced them that the veterinary surgeon in Willingdon could treat 
Boxer’s case more satisfactorily than could be done on the farm. And 
about half an hour later, when Boxer had somewhat recovered, he was 
with difficulty got on to his feet, and managed to limp back to his stall, 
where Clover and Benjamin had prepared a good bed of straw for him. 

For the next two days Boxer remained in his stall. The pigs had 
sent out a large bottle of pink medicine which they had found in the 
medicine chest in the bathroom, and Clover administered it to Boxer 
twice a day after meals. In the evenings she lay in his stall and talked to 
him, while Benjamin kept the flies off him. Boxer professed not to be 
sorry for what had happened. If he made a good recovery, he might 
expect to live another three years, and he looked forward to the 
peaceful days that he would spend in the corner of the big pasture. It 
would be the first time that he had had leisure to study and improve 
his mind. He intended, he said, to devote the rest of his life to learning 
the remaining twenty-two letters of the alphabet. 

However, Benjamin and Clover could only be with Boxer after 
working hours, and it was in the middle of the day when the van came 
to take him away. The animals were all at work weeding turnips under 
the supervision of a pig, when they were astonished to see Benjamin 
come galloping from the direction of the farm buildings, braying at the 
top of his voice. It was the first time that they had ever seen Benjamin 
excited — indeed, it was the first time that anyone had ever seen him 



gallop. “Quick, quick!” he shouted. “Come at once! They’re taking 
Boxer away!” Without waiting for orders from the pig, the animals 
broke off work and raced back to the farm buildings. Sure enough, 
there in the yard was a large closed van, drawn by two horses, with 
lettering on its side and a sly-looking man in a low-crowned bowler hat 
sitting on the driver’s seat. And Boxer’s stall was empty. 

The animals crowded round the van. “Good-bye, Boxer!” they 
chorused, “good-bye!” 

“Fools! Fools!” shouted Benjamin, prancing round them and 
stamping the earth with his small hoofs. “Fools! Do you not see what is 
written on the side of that van?” 

That gave the animals pause, and there was a hush. Muriel began 
to spell out the words. But Benjamin pushed her aside and in the midst 
of a deadly silence he read: 

“‘Alfred Simmonds, Horse Slaughterer and Glue Boiler, 
Willingdon. Dealer in Hides and Bone-Meal. Kennels Supplied.’ Do 
you not understand what that means? They are taking Boxer to the 
knacker’s!” 

A cry of horror burst from all the animals. At this moment the 
man on the box whipped up his horses and the van moved out of the 
yard at a smart trot. All the animals followed, crying out at the tops of 
their voices. Clover forced her way to the front. The van began to 
gather speed. Clover tried to stir her stout limbs to a gallop, and 
achieved a canter. “Boxer!” she cried. “Boxer! Boxer! Boxer!” And just 
at this moment, as though he had heard the uproar outside, Boxer’s 
face, with the white stripe down his nose, appeared at the small 
window at the back of the van. 

“Boxer!” cried Clover in a terrible voice. “Boxer! Get out! Get out 
quickly! They’re taking you to your death!” 

All the animals took up the cry of “Get out, Boxer, get out!” But the 



van was already gathering speed and drawing away from them. It was 
uncertain whether Boxer had understood what Clover had said. But a 
moment later his face disappeared from the window and there was the 
sound of a tremendous drumming of hoofs inside the van. He was 
trying to kick his way out. The time had been when a few kicks from 
Boxer’s hoofs would have smashed the van to matchwood. But alas! his 
strength had left him; and in a few moments the sound of drumming 
hoofs grew fainter and died away. In desperation the animals began 
appealing to the two horses which drew the van to stop. “Comrades, 
comrades!” they shouted. “Don’t take your own brother to his death! 
“But the stupid brutes, too ignorant to realise what was happening, 
merely set back their ears and quickened their pace. Boxer’s face did 
not reappear at the window. Too late, someone thought of racing ahead 
and shutting the five-barred gate; but in another moment the van was 
through it and rapidly disappearing down the road. Boxer was never 
seen again. 

Three days later it was announced that he had died in the hospital 
at Willingdon, in spite of receiving every attention a horse could have. 
Squealer came to announce the news to the others. He had, he said, 
been present during Boxer’s last hours. 

“It was the most affecting sight I have ever seen!” said Squealer, 
lifting his trotter and wiping away a tear. “I was at his bedside at the 
very last. And at the end, almost too weak to speak, he whispered in my 
ear that his sole sorrow was to have passed on before the windmill was 
finished. ‘Forward, comrades!’ he whispered. ‘Forward in the name of 
the Rebellion. Long live Animal Farm! Long live Comrade Napoleon! 
Napoleon is always right.’ Those were his very last words, comrades.” 

Here Squealer’s demeanour suddenly changed. He fell silent for a 
moment, and his little eyes darted suspicious glances from side to side 
before he proceeded. 

It had come to his knowledge, he said, that a foolish and wicked 



rumour had been circulated at the time of Boxer’s removal. Some of 
the animals had noticed that the van which took Boxer away was 
marked “Horse Slaughterer,” and had actually jumped to the 
conclusion that Boxer was being sent to the knacker’s. It was almost 
unbelievable, said Squealer, that any animal could be so stupid. Surely, 
he cried indignantly, whisking his tail and skipping from side to side, 
surely they knew their beloved Leader, Comrade Napoleon, better than 
that? But the explanation was really very simple. The van had 
previously been the property of the knacker, and had been bought by 
the veterinary surgeon, who had not yet painted the old name out. That 
was how the mistake had arisen. 

The animals were enormously relieved to hear this. And when 
Squealer went on to give further graphic details of Boxer’s death-bed, 
the admirable care he had received, and the expensive medicines for 
which Napoleon had paid without a thought as to the cost, their last 
doubts disappeared and the sorrow that they felt for their comrade’s 
death was tempered by the thought that at least he had died happy. 

Napoleon himself appeared at the meeting on the following 
Sunday morning and pronounced a short oration in Boxer’s honour. It 
had not been possible, he said, to bring back their lamented comrade’s 
remains for interment on the farm, but he had ordered a large wreath 
to be made from the laurels in the farmhouse garden and sent down to 
be placed on Boxer’s grave. And in a few days’ time the pigs intended 
to hold a memorial banquet in Boxer’s honour. Napoleon ended his 
speech with a reminder of Boxer’s two favourite maxims, “I will work 
harder” and “Comrade Napoleon is always right”— maxims, he said, 
which every animal would do well to adopt as his own. 

On the day appointed for the banquet, a grocer’s van drove up 
from Willingdon and delivered a large wooden crate at the farmhouse. 
That night there was the sound of uproarious singing, which was 
followed by what sounded like a violent quarrel and ended at about 



eleven o’clock with a tremendous crash of glass. No one stirred in the 
farmhouse before noon on the following day, and the word went round 
that from somewhere or other the pigs had acquired the money to buy 
themselves another case of whisky. 



https://ebooks.adelaide.edu.aU/o/orwell/george/o79a/chapter9.html 
Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:58 



Animal Farm, by George Orwell 




Chapter 10 


Y ears passed. The seasons came and went, the short animal lives 
fled by. A time came when there was no one who remembered 
the old days before the Rebellion, except Clover, Benjamin, 
Moses the raven, and a number of the pigs. 

Muriel was dead; Bluebell, Jessie, and Pincher were dead. Jones 
too was dead — he had died in an inebriates’ home in another part of 
the country. Snowball was forgotten. Boxer was forgotten, except by 
the few who had known him. Clover was an old stout mare now, stiff in 
the joints and with a tendency to rheumy eyes. She was two years past 
the retiring age, but in fact no animal had ever actually retired. The 
talk of setting aside a corner of the pasture for superannuated animals 
had long since been dropped. Napoleon was now a mature boar of 
twenty-four stone. Squealer was so fat that he could with difficulty see 
out of his eyes. Only old Benjamin was much the same as ever, except 
for being a little greyer about the muzzle, and, since Boxer’s death, 
more morose and taciturn than ever. 

There were many more creatures on the farm now, though the 
increase was not so great as had been expected in earlier years. Many 
animals had been born to whom the Rebellion was only a dim 
tradition, passed on by word of mouth, and others had been bought 
who had never heard mention of such a thing before their arrival. The 
farm possessed three horses now besides Clover. They were fine 
upstanding beasts, willing workers and good comrades, but very 
stupid. None of them proved able to learn the alphabet beyond the 
letter B. They accepted everything that they were told about the 
Rebellion and the principles of Animalism, especially from Clover, for 
whom they had an almost filial respect; but it was doubtful whether 
they understood very much of it. 



The farm was more prosperous now, and better organised: it had 
even been enlarged by two fields which had been bought from Mr. 
Pilkington. The windmill had been successfully completed at last, and 
the farm possessed a threshing machine and a hay elevator of its own, 
and various new buildings had been added to it. Whymper had bought 
himself a dogcart. The windmill, however, had not after all been used 
for generating electrical power. It was used for milling corn, and 
brought in a handsome money profit. The animals were hard at work 
building yet another windmill; when that one was finished, so it was 
said, the dynamos would be installed. But the luxuries of which 
Snowball had once taught the animals to dream, the stalls with electric 
light and hot and cold water, and the three-day week, were no longer 
talked about. Napoleon had denounced such ideas as contrary to the 
spirit of Animalism. The truest happiness, he said, lay in working hard 
and living frugally. 

Somehow it seemed as though the farm had grown richer without 
making the animals themselves any richer-except, of course, for the 
pigs and the dogs. Perhaps this was partly because there were so many 
pigs and so many dogs. It was not that these creatures did not work, 
after their fashion. There was, as Squealer was never tired of 
explaining, endless work in the supervision and organisation of the 
farm. Much of this work was of a kind that the other animals were too 
ignorant to understand. For example, Squealer told them that the pigs 
had to expend enormous labours every day upon mysterious things 
called “files,” “reports,” “minutes,” and “memoranda”. These were 
large sheets of paper which had to be closely covered with writing, and 
as soon as they were so covered, they were burnt in the furnace. This 
was of the highest importance for the welfare of the farm, Squealer 
said. But still, neither pigs nor dogs produced any food by their own 
labour; and there were very many of them, and their appetites were 
always good. 



As for the others, their life, so far as they knew, was as it had 
always been. They were generally hungry, they slept on straw, they 
drank from the pool, they laboured in the fields; in winter they were 
troubled by the cold, and in summer by the flies. Sometimes the older 
ones among them racked their dim memories and tried to determine 
whether in the early days of the Rebellion, when Jones’s expulsion was 
still recent, things had been better or worse than now. They could not 
remember. There was nothing with which they could compare their 
present lives: they had nothing to go upon except Squealer’s lists of 
figures, which invariably demonstrated that everything was getting 
better and better. The animals found the problem insoluble; in any 
case, they had little time for speculating on such things now. Only old 
Benjamin professed to remember every detail of his long life and to 
know that things never had been, nor ever could be much better or 
much worse — hunger, hardship, and disappointment being, so he 
said, the unalterable law of life. 

And yet the animals never gave up hope. More, they never lost, 
even for an instant, their sense of honour and privilege in being 
members of Animal Farm. They were still the only farm in the whole 
county — in all England! — owned and operated by animals. Not one of 
them, not even the youngest, not even the newcomers who had been 
brought from farms ten or twenty miles away, ever ceased to marvel at 
that. And when they heard the gun booming and saw the green flag 
fluttering at the masthead, their hearts swelled with imperishable 
pride, and the talk turned always towards the old heroic days, the 
expulsion of Jones, the writing of the Seven Commandments, the great 
battles in which the human invaders had been defeated. None of the 
old dreams had been abandoned. The Republic of the Animals which 
Major had foretold, when the green fields of England should be 
untrodden by human feet, was still believed in. Some day it was 
coming: it might not be soon, it might not be with in the lifetime of any 
animal now living, but still it was coming. Even the tune of ‘Beasts of 



England’ was perhaps hummed secretly here and there: at any rate, it 
was a fact that every animal on the farm knew it, though no one would 
have dared to sing it aloud. It might be that their lives were hard and 
that not all of their hopes had been fulfilled; but they were conscious 
that they were not as other animals. If they went hungry, it was not 
from feeding tyrannical human beings; if they worked hard, at least 
they worked for themselves. No creature among them went upon two 
legs. No creature called any other creature “Master.” All animals were 
equal. 

One day in early summer Squealer ordered the sheep to follow 
him, and led them out to a piece of waste ground at the other end of 
the farm, which had become overgrown with birch saplings. The sheep 
spent the whole day there browsing at the leaves under Squealer’s 
supervision. In the evening he returned to the farmhouse himself, but, 
as it was warm weather, told the sheep to stay where they were. It 
ended by their remaining there for a whole week, during which time 
the other animals saw nothing of them. Squealer was with them for the 
greater part of every day. He was, he said, teaching them to sing a new 
song, for which privacy was needed. 

It was just after the sheep had returned, on a pleasant evening 
when the animals had finished work and were making their way back 
to the farm buildings, that the terrified neighing of a horse sounded 
from the yard. Startled, the animals stopped in their tracks. It was 
Clover’s voice. She neighed again, and all the animals broke into a 
gallop and rushed into the yard. Then they saw what Clover had seen. 

It was a pig walking on his hind legs. 

Yes, it was Squealer. A little awkwardly, as though not quite used 
to supporting his considerable bulk in that position, but with perfect 
balance, he was strolling across the yard. And a moment later, out 
from the door of the farmhouse came a long file of pigs, all walking on 
their hind legs. Some did it better than others, one or two were even a 



trifle unsteady and looked as though they would have liked the support 
of a stick, but every one of them made his way right round the yard 
successfully. And finally there was a tremendous baying of dogs and a 
shrill crowing from the black cockerel, and out came Napoleon himself, 
majestically upright, casting haughty glances from side to side, and 
with his dogs gambolling round him. 

He carried a whip in his trotter. 

There was a deadly silence. Amazed, terrified, huddling together, 
the animals watched the long line of pigs march slowly round the yard. 
It was as though the world had turned upside-down. Then there came 
a moment when the first shock had worn off and when, in spite of 
everything-in spite of their terror of the dogs, and of the habit, 
developed through long years, of never complaining, never criticising, 
no matter what happened — they might have uttered some word of 
protest. But just at that moment, as though at a signal, all the sheep 
burst out into a tremendous bleating of — 

“Four legs good, two legs BETTER! Four legs good, two legs 
BETTER! Four legs good, two legs BETTER!” 

It went on for five minutes without stopping. And by the time the 
sheep had quieted down, the chance to utter any protest had passed, 
for the pigs had marched back into the farmhouse. 

Benjamin felt a nose nuzzling at his shoulder. He looked round. It 
was Clover. Her old eyes looked dimmer than ever. Without saying 
anything, she tugged gently at his mane and led him round to the end 
of the big barn, where the Seven Commandments were written. For a 
minute or two they stood gazing at the tatted wall with its white 
lettering. 

“My sight is failing,” she said finally. “Even when I was young I 
could not have read what was written there. But it appears to me that 
that wall looks different. Are the Seven Commandments the same as 



they used to be, Benjamin?” 

For once Benjamin consented to break his rule, and he read out to 
her what was written on the wall. There was nothing there now except 
a single Commandment. It ran: 

ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL 

BUT SOME ANIMALS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS 

After that it did not seem strange when next day the pigs who were 
supervising the work of the farm all carried whips in their trotters. It 
did not seem strange to learn that the pigs had bought themselves a 
wireless set, were arranging to install a telephone, and had taken out 
subscriptions to ‘John Bull’, ‘Tit-Bits’, and the ‘Daily Mirror’. It did not 
seem strange when Napoleon was seen strolling in the farmhouse 
garden with a pipe in his mouth — no, not even when the pigs took Mr. 
Jones’s clothes out of the wardrobes and put them on, Napoleon 
himself appearing in a black coat, ratcatcher breeches, and leather 
leggings, while his favourite sow appeared in the watered silk dress 
which Mrs. Jones had been used to wearing on Sundays. 

A week later, in the afternoon, a number of dog-carts drove up to 
the farm. A deputation of neighbouring farmers had been invited to 
make a tour of inspection. They were shown all over the farm, and 
expressed great admiration for everything they saw, especially the 
windmill. The animals were weeding the turnip field. They worked 
diligently hardly raising their faces from the ground, and not knowing 
whether to be more frightened of the pigs or of the human visitors. 

That evening loud laughter and bursts of singing came from the 
farmhouse. And suddenly, at the sound of the mingled voices, the 
animals were stricken with curiosity. What could be happening in 
there, now that for the first time animals and human beings were 
meeting on terms of equality? With one accord they began to creep as 
quietly as possible into the farmhouse garden. 



At the gate they paused, half frightened to go on but Clover led the 
way in. They tiptoed up to the house, and such animals as were tall 
enough peered in at the dining-room window. There, round the long 
table, sat half a dozen farmers and half a dozen of the more eminent 
pigs, Napoleon himself occupying the seat of honour at the head of the 
table. The pigs appeared completely at ease in their chairs. The 
company had been enjoying a game of cards but had broken off for the 
moment, evidently in order to drink a toast. A large jug was circulating, 
and the mugs were being refilled with beer. No one noticed the 
wondering faces of the animals that gazed in at the window. 

Mr. Pilkington, of Foxwood, had stood up, his mug in his hand. In 
a moment, he said, he would ask the present company to drink a toast. 
But before doing so, there were a few words that he felt it incumbent 
upon him to say. 

It was a source of great satisfaction to him, he said — and, he was 
sure, to all others present — to feel that a long period of mistrust and 
misunderstanding had now come to an end. There had been a time — 
not that he, or any of the present company, had shared such 
sentiments — but there had been a time when the respected 
proprietors of Animal Farm had been regarded, he would not say with 
hostility, but perhaps with a certain measure of misgiving, by their 
human neighbours. Unfortunate incidents had occurred, mistaken 
ideas had been current. It had been felt that the existence of a farm 
owned and operated by pigs was somehow abnormal and was liable to 
have an unsettling effect in the neighbourhood. Too many farmers had 
assumed, without due enquiry, that on such a farm a spirit of licence 
and indiscipline would prevail. They had been nervous about the 
effects upon their own animals, or even upon their human employees. 
But all such doubts were now dispelled. Today he and his friends had 
visited Animal Farm and inspected every inch of it with their own eyes, 
and what did they find? Not only the most up-to-date methods, but a 



discipline and an orderliness which should be an example to all 
farmers everywhere. He believed that he was right in saying that the 
lower animals on Animal Farm did more work and received less food 
than any animals in the county. Indeed, he and his fellow-visitors 
today had observed many features which they intended to introduce on 
their own farms immediately. 

He would end his remarks, he said, by emphasising once again the 
friendly feelings that subsisted, and ought to subsist, between Animal 
Farm and its neighbours. Between pigs and human beings there was 
not, and there need not be, any clash of interests whatever. Their 
struggles and their difficulties were one. Was not the labour problem 
the same everywhere? Here it became apparent that Mr. Pilkington 
was about to spring some carefully prepared witticism on the 
company, but for a moment he was too overcome by amusement to be 
able to utter it. After much choking, during which his various chins 
turned purple, he managed to get it out: “If you have your lower 
animals to contend with,” he said, “we have our lower classes!” This 
BON MOT set the table in a roar; and Mr. Pilkington once again 
congratulated the pigs on the low rations, the long working hours, and 
the general absence of pampering which he had observed on Animal 
Farm. 

And now, he said finally, he would ask the company to rise to their 
feet and make certain that their glasses were full. “Gentlemen,” 
concluded Mr. Pilkington, “gentlemen, I give you a toast: To the 
prosperity of Animal Farm!” 

There was enthusiastic cheering and stamping of feet. Napoleon 
was so gratified that he left his place and came round the table to clink 
his mug against Mr. Pilkington’s before emptying it. When the 
cheering had died down, Napoleon, who had remained on his feet, 
intimated that he too had a few words to say. 

Like all of Napoleon’s speeches, it was short and to the point. He 



too, he said, was happy that the period of misunderstanding was at an 
end. For a long time there had been rumours — circulated, he had 
reason to think, by some malignant enemy — that there was something 
subversive and even revolutionary in the outlook of himself and his 
colleagues. They had been credited with attempting to stir up rebellion 
among the animals on neighbouring farms. Nothing could be further 
from the truth! Their sole wish, now and in the past, was to live at 
peace and in normal business relations with their neighbours. This 
farm which he had the honour to control, he added, was a co-operative 
enterprise. The title-deeds, which were in his own possession, were 
owned by the pigs jointly. 

He did not believe, he said, that any of the old suspicions still 
lingered, but certain changes had been made recently in the routine of 
the farm which should have the effect of promoting confidence still 
further. Hitherto the animals on the farm had had a rather foolish 
custom of addressing one another as “Comrade.” This was to be 
suppressed. There had also been a very strange custom, whose origin 
was unknown, of marching every Sunday morning past a boar’s skull 
which was nailed to a post in the garden. This, too, would be 
suppressed, and the skull had already been buried. His visitors might 
have observed, too, the green flag which flew from the masthead. If so, 
they would perhaps have noted that the white hoof and horn with 
which it had previously been marked had now been removed. It would 
be a plain green flag from now onwards. 

He had only one criticism, he said, to make of Mr. Pilkington’s 
excellent and neighbourly speech. Mr. Pilkington had referred 
throughout to “Animal Farm.” He could not of course know — for he, 
Napoleon, was only now for the first time announcing it — that the 
name “Animal Farm” had been abolished. Henceforward the farm was 
to be known as “The Manor Farm”— which, he believed, was its correct 
and original name. 



“Gentlemen,” concluded Napoleon, “I will give you the same toast 
as before, but in a different form. Fill your glasses to the brim. 
Gentlemen, here is my toast: To the prosperity of The Manor Farm!” 

There was the same hearty cheering as before, and the mugs were 
emptied to the dregs. But as the animals outside gazed at the scene, it 
seemed to them that some strange thing was happening. What was it 
that had altered in the faces of the pigs? Clover’s old dim eyes flitted 
from one face to another. Some of them had five chins, some had four, 
some had three. But what was it that seemed to be melting and 
changing? Then, the applause having come to an end, the company 
took up their cards and continued the game that had been interrupted, 
and the animals crept silently away. 

But they had not gone twenty yards when they stopped short. An 
uproar of voices was coming from the farmhouse. They rushed back 
and looked through the window again. Yes, a violent quarrel was in 
progress. There were shoutings, bangings on the table, sharp 
suspicious glances, furious denials. The source of the trouble appeared 
to be that Napoleon and Mr. Pilkington had each played an ace of 
spades simultaneously. 

Twelve voices were shouting in anger, and they were all alike. No 
question, now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The 
creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and 
from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was 
which. 


November 1943-February 1944 



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